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 On the Town

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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:09 pm

Try not to move like a white Seattle boy? That's the only way he knew how to move. He stayed in place for a few more seconds, until he saw how earnest she was and heard the voice boom the name of the game. This was real, and he was going to to this. Living without shame, that's something he never considered before. Maybe that was an essential part to truly living.

"Let's do it." He hopped up to the platform and gave one last look around the lounge. There weren't many people. The people that were there seemed to be uninterested in what those around them were doing. Maybe it wouldn't be as bad as he thought.

"You pick the song, Miyagi, you're the sensei here." He leaned on the railing behind him.

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:04 pm

Jane tapped her foot to scroll through the list. "Of course I am. Just watch and learn from the master herself." She wasn't lying when she said she was terrible at this, but breathless, embarrassing, flailing around in an arcade was the best kind of fun you could have. With a grin, she finally settled on a Swedish song halfway down the list in pink lettering. Caramelldansen - normal difficulty. "We'll start off easy. Are you ready?"

Probably not, but things were more exciting when you jumped in without thinking. Plans always just got in the way anyways.

Bubbly music sparked up to an excited beat, and the cheesy voice inside the speakers began to count them down.

'THREE.
TWO.
ONE.
GO!'


Arrows, flashing pink and blue, started flying up the screen. Left, right, down, up. The game had begun. She jumped right into it, feet crossing and leaping and twirling and stomping to the beat. 'MISS. GREAT. MISS. GOOD. GREAT. PERFECT! PERFECT! PERFECT!' Jane laughed, shedding off her rumpled school blazer a minute into the song and throwing it to the side. The light and upbeat voice echoing from the speakers bounced around the arcade.

Three minutes into the song, she was breathing heavy, and you could see beads of sweat pour down her face.

'PERFECT! MISS. GREAT. GOOD. PERFECT! GOOD. GOOD.'

She staggered, smiling in-between labored pants. Her hair was plastered to her face with sweat.

'GOOD. MISS. GOOD. MISS. MISS. MISS.'

Her enthusiastic dancing had slowed down to a heavy, unfocused shamble around the platform.

'MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS.'

Four minutes into the song, it would've taken a second glance to realize that she was hyperventilating.

It felt like there was a python constricting around her chest, and like her heart was being squeezed with every single pump. Jane fell back against the railing, a sweaty palm moving toward her throat, as black spots began to appear in her vision. There was a tingling vibration in her chest, spreading through her arms, her legs, turning her limbs into jelly. She slumped down on the platform, her back pressed against the metal support.

'MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS. MISS.'

Jane bent her head down covering her mouth with one hand and pressing the other against her chest. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Her shoulders heaved with every intake of air.

The song ended while she was hunched over.

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:29 pm

Once the song started, Logan was glad to have healed himself when he did. It started to take a toll on his lungs after a minute, but he persevered, trying to pull off the dance moves without looking like a prat.

Miss, Miss, Good, Good, Miss.

He heightened his approach, his steps getting louder as his movements gained fluidity.

Good, Great, Good, Perfect, Perfect!

He was doing it! Through breaths he gave a surprised laugh. He was having fun. Though his lungs began to scream by the end of the song, he kept through it, and the score that flashed when the music stopped was higher than Jane's. He looked to his left, to see a few people watching them.

"Looks like we've gotten pretty popular." Logan grinned, still panting, and turned to Jane. "They just watched you lose to the--"

In the heat of the moment, he did not notice Jane struggling, and now she seemed in pain, holding her chest. "You okay...?" It had been a workout to dance around like that, but she looked damn well ready to pass out. He remembered what they taught him on his first day in the infirmary. Check responsiveness. "Jane, can you hear me?"

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:51 pm

The room swam around her, but after a minute of the same old practiced routine, her breathing began to slow back to normal. She let her hands fall to her sides and let her eyes drift up toward his. "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine..." she muttered between heavy breaths. Jane gave him a grin. "I'm just really..." She took in a big gulp of air and exhaled with a heave. "... out of shape, I guess."

That wasn't entirely a lie, at least.

She wrapped her fingers around the railing and pulled herself up into a shaky standing position. "Come on, we have two more songs to go. I gotta catch up to that score, sensei."

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:06 pm

Logan gave her an odd look. "I...don't know if I want to risk that happening to you again." Two more songs? She couldn't even handle one, let alone three. "Come on, there's plenty of games here, there's no need to continue with this one..."

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:28 pm

"What are you, my mom?" she breathed with a small smile, trying her hardest to look reassuring. "I put seventy five cents into this thing. It'd be a waste to stop now." Jane glanced around them, at the gathering crowd. Popular indeed. "Besides, what are you worried about? Dying?"

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:02 pm

"Um..." He looked at the crowd who had accumulated, some of them already walking away due to the delay between the songs. "You do that one more time, and we're not doing the third song, all right? I'm the sensei now, what I say goes." He really didn't want people freaking out if she died. He was the only one who knew she'd come back, after all.

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:27 am

"Oh, you're no fun." Jane seemed to recover her bearings, standing up a little straighter, breathing a little lighter. Now it only looked like she sprinted three miles instead of five. That was something. "Alright, sensei, if you're so afraid of losing in three songs..." She was less worried about giving the rest of the arcade a heart attack. Right now it was Logan who concerned her. He'd already seen her jump off a roof, having a little breathing trouble should've seemed normal. Jane raised an eyebrow at him, putting a hand on her hip. Her shirt was plastered to her skin with sweat. "Don't stare at me like you're about to pat me on the back and shove esbriet down my throat or something. I'm fine, alright?"

She cocked her head and sighed. "Sensei's scared after all. We can try something more your speed then, but you owe me fifty cents."

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:40 am

"No, that's not what I..." The word 'esbriet' clanged in his head for a moment. He had a month's worth of it in his nightstand. He cocked his head at her. She was breathing heavily too after minimal exercise. Could it be...?
He shook it out of his head. "Fine. Sure, you're definitely slowing it down for me." His smile was thin, his side-glance suggesting the opposite. But meanwhile, in the back of his mind, a voice screamed, 'She's got it, she's got it, she's got it, she's got it.' What happens when you have a fatal disease yet can't die?

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:55 am

"Hey now, watch your step." She turned to her discarded school blazer and dug out another handful of coins. "Should this be enough to kick your ass? You pick the game this time, sensei. Racing, fighting, shoot 'em ups, you name it, you got it."

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:34 am

Logan stretched, and eyes around the room. As she mentioned 'racing,' his eyes rested on a large spherical pod of sorts, with a door on the side and a logo wide across the back: Racer Evolution 5! "I think that'll be pretty fair," he pointed to it with a flick of his head. "I don't know a thing about racing, and I doubt you're some kind of Dale Earnhardt prodigy. I could be wrong, though..." He began walking with a laugh. "I'm sure Maine is the capital of motorsports."

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:46 am

"Oh, you think so?" she said, a teasing edge to her voice and a mischevious twinkle in her eye. Jane started toward the pod, grinning. "I'll have you know I'm an accomplished street racer. Some older friends had cars, but I had to borrow my mom's Ford Focus." Well, 'borrow' was one way to put it. Her dad might've handed her the keys once upon a time, but by that point, things were way too hectic for that kind of simple freedom. Dad was gone, mom was crazy, other dad was set on keeping her pinned down, and everyone else in her family was caught up in the storm. When you got to that age, sometimes you had to get behind the wheel and take a car out for a spin yourself. Until you actually drove a real car without somebody holding your hand the whole way, you didn't understand real independence. Driving wasn't just a way to get around, it was a responsibility that you carried, and a symbol of burgeoning adulthood. More importantly, it was an easy way to escape the house for a few. The end result was as obvious as it was inevitable. "I made Maine the capital of motorsports, you know?" Jane opened the door. "My career was cut a little short, but nobody's perfect. You have to slip up once or twice to become a real master. And I've already slipped up more than that, so you've got a lot to learn, bud. You'll be bowing and calling me sensei in no time."

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:00 pm

Logan stared at her for a while, looking into her eyes, cocking his head and trying to catch if she was telling the truth. "You're lying," he said flatly, with a tone that said he didn't believe himself entirely. Did he pick a game he was sure to lose? He opened the door to the pod to check if it was empty, and it was. "Come on, you're lying."

The little room was dark inside, only the intense gleam of the screen before them providing light. The outside noises were surprisingly vacant in that pod; he couldn't hear anybody and he was sure nobody could hear them. He sat in the furthest seat and inserted a few quarters into the slot, until a vehicle select screen appeared. He settled on the Maserati. It shown steel blue, and looked pretty badass.

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:31 pm

"Is that so hard to believe?" She went in after him and sat in the vacant seat across from his. Jane put a hand on the wheel, giving it a small test steer as Logan popped in a couple quarters. "Never went on a joyride? Never borrowed your parents' car? Never drove around with a friend?" As the game started up, Jane settled on the first and coolest car she saw, a sleek blue Mustang with two white pinstripes down the middle. "Alright, chill out a little. I never really raced. Just ignored the speed limit a little while I was out with other people. I could be Dale Earnhardt or whatever though is what I'm saying." Granted, her mom didn't have that Ford Focus anymore. That had been a great night. 3 AM, peeling down an empty stretch of highway, windows rolled down, wind blowing in her face... And then spinning on a sharp corner into the suburbs, ripping across someone's lawn, and smashing into somebody's garage door. There wasn't any need to mention that though.

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PostSubject: Re: On the Town   Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:59 pm

"Mhm." He smirked at the screen, and with a gritty and melodramatic voice, he told her. "Settle it on the track!" He pressed start, and the countdown was underway.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. He stepped on the steel pedal, it sticking slightly with something he didn't want to think about. The car began to shoot forward through narrow Italian streets, and the wheel began to jerk in his grip. "Fuck," he said as it began to give him feedback. The Maserati whirred around the corner, and he thought he was doing pretty well, until he zoomed forward a bit too far into a CPU. He rammed into its bumper, and they both spun into a flat-textured building. The steering wheel squirmed in Logan's hands as it tried to correct itself. The rest of the cars zoomed by.

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