Author Topic: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)  (Read 3946 times)

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2016, 05:06:31 PM »
The next afternoon, Gerry showed up early to accept their stock delivery.  His lip still healing from last night.  It had been a night from hell and he was still mad.  Kara had been off screwing off with Danny, doing God knew what, and left him with the biggest idiot on the planet.  If she wanted to go screw Danny, whatever.  Let her.  He'd just bury himself in work.

He was moving kegs in back when she stepped through the front doors.  He just glanced at her, quickly.  

"Heya."  She said with a little smile.

He didn't respond, beyond a quick, curt nod.  He set the keg down and moved back outside.  Kara's brow wrinkling.  "Okay...what the hell..."she muttered to herself, following him.

"How'd it go last night?"  She asked, pressing on.  

He wouldn't stop working, wouldn't even look at her.  "*****y."  He practically grunted, lifting another keg and carrying it in, breezing right past her.

Kara blinked a bitter little laugh leaving her before she trailed after him.  "Care to elaborate?"

Gerry set the keg down and let out an annoyed sigh.  "I'm busy, Kara.  Alright?"  He moved back outside to grab a case of beer.

"No, it's not alright!"  She said, grabbing him by the shirt sleeve.  "What's your problem?"

He looked down with wide, irritated eyes at her hand until she removed it.  "While you were out with your boyfriend I was getting my ass kicked here."

Kara narrowed her eyes.  "Oh.  That's what this is."  She shook her head.  "You're jealous."

"No, I'm not.  You left me with Shane and he's as useful as an *** hole on your elbow, and got us slammed with a citation and probable lawsuit from the customer he roughed up."  Gerry spat back at her.

"Oh, so you're going to be a dick to me because you had a bad night?"  she said, incredulously.

"You were supposed to be here and you weren't here."  His voice FULL of accusation and misplaced aggression.

"Yeah, well, I hate to break it to you, but I kind of OWN the place.  If I want to take a night off, I can DO that."  Kara said angrily.  "Seriously,  what the hell is your deal?  I went on a DATE, Gerry.  It's not like that happens a lot."

"Well, I hope you had a WONDERFUL time."  he said, the sarcasm in his voice just dripping.

She stared at him a smug little smile on her face.  "You are so full of ****, you know that?"  Kara shot back at him.  "I saw the look on your face when I told you we were going out last night.  You were pissed!  Well, you know what, man?  If you have such a damn problem with it, then maybe you should've made your move before someone who ACTUALLY wanted me came out and ASKED me on a date!"

"Oh, get over yourself!"  He said.

"Over myself?"  Her eyes were wide, on fire.  "Over myself, are you ****ing kidding me?!  I have doted and supported and been good to you since you came trudging back here!  You've been a mopey, insufferable little bitch the past few months, and *I* need to get over myself?!"

Gerry stared at her, eyes narrowed, fists clenched.  "Will you get a hold of yourself?  Just go somewhere and get ahold of yourself."

"No!  This is my place, I don't have to 'get ahold' of myself.  I'm not letting you make me feel bad about this!"

"Oh please..."

"No!  **** you!  You're not making me feel like a slut for going out with whoever I want!  I'm single.  I can do that!"

Gerry just stared at her.  "Oh, good for you." he said in a condescending tone.

"Stop that!"  She shouted at him.  "Stop talking to me like that!  You don't get to make me feel this way!  You're my friend.  My FRIEND.  And you are married!"

"That's right."  He said, full of spite.

"You're married and I'm single, as  you've made ABUNDANTLY clear!  And you sure as **** aren't going to stop clinging that broken mess!  You made your bed, dude."

"Yeah, well you're the one who keeps trying to ****ing sleep in it."  He said, staring daggers.

Kara's lips parted.  That hurt.  "**** you.  Seriously, Gerard.  **** you.  You want to cling to that miserable failed dream of yours, you go ahead.  Delude yourself.  Just answer me one question.  If things were so good and this chick was SO worth it, then where is she?  Huh?  Where's your wife, Gerry?  I'm sure you told her where you lived, so where is she?  Oh, right.  It's been MONTHS and not one word of her.  Could it be that she doesn't give a flying **** about you?"  Kara was going for the throat.  She didn't care if it was mean, she wanted him to hurt like she did.  "Do you think she even looked for a DAY?  I don't.  She probably just blew you off and ****ed the first guy who came along to get YOU out of her system."

Gerry's fists clenched, his heart pounding in his chest.  She was crossing lines.  "Don't you talk about her like that."

"She's not coming for you.  She's probably moved on."  Kara nodded antagonistically.  

Gerry had to get out of there before he did something he regretted.  "*** this."  He grabbed his hat and pulled it over his head, heading toward the door.

"Yep.  That's it.  Run off.  Run off to your wife!  Oops!  Can't, can you?"  She said as he shoved his way through the door.   As she stood there, alone in the bar, wave after wave of regret washed over her.  She plopped down on a couch, her face screwing up as the tears came.  She knew she hadn't meant most of what she said and it was just hurt and built up months of frustration talking.  Already she'd give anything to take it back.  But he was gone.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Bill Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2016, 02:48:19 AM »
Bill was sitting in the basement watching TV, as he was often wont to do.  Rose was stretched across the couch, her feet on his lap while he massaged them absently.  A pleasant smile on her face as she read a Stephen King book.

Bill glanced in her direction.  "How's that book?"

"Ep-ep-ep-ep...Noooo conversation, Cabana Boy."  She said with a little smirk.  

Bill chuckled "Oh-ho-ho-ho!  Yess-um Miss Rose."  he said as if afraid of her.

The doorbell grabbed her attention.  She raised her eyes for a moment before returning to her book.  "Bill.  Door."

"I got the last one." he complained.

"Look, sweetie,"  She said.  " we can pretend this is going to end any other way than you getting the door, but you know damn well,  you're gonna do it.  So, let's skip to the end."

He chuckled and pushed her feet off him. "Wise-ass."    He got up and started away.  

"Loooooove youuuu...."  Rose said listlessly, still reading on the couch.

Bill made his way up the stairs to the door as it rang again.  "Alright, alright I'm coming!"

He opened the door to find Kara standing there.  A big smile crossed his face.  "Hey, K-Mart special!  Aren't you supposed to be at the...."  That was when he noticed the look on her face.  Her face was stained with tears and runny make up.  Bill's face contorted with concern.  

"Kara?  What happened?"  he asked her gently.  

She couldn't hold back anymore, the tears falling as she threw her arms around him.   Through the sobs she managed "I think I screwed up, Dad.  I think I screwed up bad..."  

Bill held her to him stroking her back gently, trying to get her to calm a bit.  Usually, he loved it when she called him Dad.  It gave him pride that she though of him like that.  But tonight...there was none of that.  She was hurting and that, in turn hurt him.  "It's's gonna be okay."

Rose came up to see what all the commotion was about, her expression falling when she saw Kara clinging to Bill.  "Kara?   What's wrong, sweetie?"

The younger woman sobbed into Bill's chest.  She sniffled and pulled back.  "I'm sorry...I just...I didn't know where else to go..."  

Rose rubbed her back gently.  "It's okay.  Just tell us what happened."

Kara looked ashamed.  "We had a fight.  And....and we said some..."  she wiped her eyes.  "Some HORRIBLE things and he just...just stormed off."   She was barely able to get through it over the sobs and sniffles.  

Bill lead her into the kitchen and sat her down.  "Here.  Relax.  Tell me about it."

Kara explained how she'd gone out on a date and how Gerry had gotten jealous.   And then discussed all the horrible things they'd said to each other.  They didn't judge her, didn't interrupt or chastise her.  they just listened.  When Kara had finished Bill just smiled to her.  "I won't lie to both said some stuff you shouldn't have.  But I know how he feels about you and I know how you feel about him."  Bill said, squeezing her hand.  

Rose nodded, adjusting her reading glasses.  "Nothing's so damaged you can't fix it."  She reassured the younger woman.  "You owe each other an apology.  Yes.  But this won't ruin you."

Kara appreciated that.  "I didn't mean it...I was just so...SO angry.  I've been over here fighting and struggling for him, and the second I pay attention to somebody else..."  She looked to them.  For years, they had been the closest thing she'd had to parents.  It was easy to forget that he was their ACTUAL child.  "I'm sorry, I shouldn't-"

Bill tilted his head.  "I get it.  I do.  You love him.  And he's been..."  he sighed "Dragging his feet."

"He basically called me a slut..."

"That was wrong of him.  And I think he knows it."  Rose said.  "If you want my advice...I say you give him a bit of time to cool off.  And then, the two of you need to sit down...and have a good talk.  Find out what this is."  She smiled to Kara.

Bill nodded.  "And no matter what happens, we love you both, and that's not going to change."  he assured her.

Kara smiled, those tears coming back.  "Promise?"

Bill grinned and made an X over his heart.  Kara lunged across the table, wrapping her arms around him.  Bill patted her head and returned the embrace.  "I love you guys."  She said, her eyes squeezed shut.

"We love you, too, kiddo."

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #47 on: June 15, 2016, 12:23:07 AM »
Gerry didn't sleep much that night.  He was just a mess of emotions.  Guilt, anger, sadness, confusion.  They had both been wrong, of course, but he initiated it.  She hadn't said anything that was wrong, really.  He WAS jealous.  Kara wasn't supposed to be with Danny.  She was supposed to be with him.  He just...

He stopped that train of thought in its tracks.  He dragged his feet.  Made her wait for him to speak the feelings he knew he had.  To accept that maybe the Keirra ship hat set sail.  There was no going back, and even if he could, would they ever be the same?  And Kara did have a point.  Ko knew where he lived, so why hadn't she come looking for him?  If he was honest, he knew the reason.  She had a default reaction to disappointment.  Run.  (Or hit, but he wasn't there to hit)

She probably ran, climbed into a bottle and disappeared.  The thought broke his heart, but it was probably the truth.  He hoped she managed to sort through it all.  He hoped wherever she was, she was happy or, at least on her way to it.

Kara, though.  She'd been patient.  Caring.  Loving.  Without her, he'd have been lost and he knew it.  It must have been hell, knowing he DID have feelings but just wouldn't let himself acknowledge them.  Always just out of reach.  

Apologizing wouldn't be the difficult part, he knew.  He'd gotten used to that with Keirra.  Hell, he spent half that relationship apologizing for whatever innocuous thing had set her running.  No, the moving on.   THAT scared the hell out of him.  He never wanted to be the guy who talked about someone he married in the past tense.  Whether that be divorce, death or...whatever you would call this.    He still loved his wife.  He knew that much.  But distance had given him a bit of perspective.  Things were always a struggle.  He'd build her up just to have her crumble again.  Earning any sort of affection, even so much as her admitting their friendship had been a monumental task.  And there was, of course the hitting.  How accustomed to being punched had he allowed himself to become out of love?  Why had he allowed that, he wondered?  In retrospect, it seemed pretty ****ed up that he had to tell her that hitting someone was a pretty bad way to tell someone you like them.

This line of thought only made him feel like he was looking for legitimate as those gripes may actually be.  It felt like he was looking for a way to forgive himself for feeling what he felt.  Six months had passed since he'd left.  Was that too soon?  Was he awful for it?  He knew nobody around here would judge him harshly, but that wasn't the point.  HE would judge himself.  HE would beat himself up over it.  As he had every time he looked at Kara and felt that flutter in his stomach.  Every time she looked at him with those eyes.  That look.  

He wouldn't make the decision tonight, he decided.  That was far too big.  What he COULD do in the immediate future was apologize.  He owed Kara that much.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Kara Aimsley

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2016, 12:04:54 PM »
Kara stood in the back room of the bar when Gerry walked in, she was putting a tap on one of the kegs.  The pair of them froze when they saw each other.  He stared at her with those beautiful blue eyes of his in silence.  Say something, the thought.  Just...say anything.  But he didn't.  He looked like he wanted to, but the words just didn't leave his lips.  Those eyes lowered from her and he moved out to the front.

Kara swallowed hard and nodded.  Was this how it was going to be from now on?  Just the two of them avoiding each other?  Working around each other.  She couldn't handle that.  She would have to figure something out.  Maybe he'd do her a solid and quit.  She doubted she could bring herself to fire him.  She wanted that even less.

Kara finished with the kegs and walked to the fridge to grab her lunch.  A salami sandwich and a small bag of chips.  Not the most inspiring of lunches.  She sat there in silence, dreading going out there and spending the evening with that cloud hanging over them.  Having to count on each other to make it through another busy night.  He darkened that doorway again, tall, strong, handsome.  But she only spared him a glance before turning her attention to her food.  

She barely registered that he stepped over to her until he sat beside her.  Her body went stiff, a mouth full of her sandwich as her eyes turned to him.  He was unwrapping a double cheeseburger quietly, his gaze steadfastly NOT on her.  Kara chewed slowly again and noticed that he slid a bottle of beer over to her.

Again, she stopped, staring at the bottle for a moment.  Those smokey blue eyes turning to him watching him take a bag of fries from his bag.  

Gerry was keeping himself busy, pouring half onto the bag from his burger before setting the rest next to her lunch.  He glanced over just slightly.  

Kara reached into her bag of chips, grabbing a handful and dropped them onto his wrapper.

One corner of his mouth upturned.  Glancing her way to find her doing the same.  Kara picked up her beer and brought it to her lips, stopping before she held it out to him.  Gerry breathed out a little laugh and clinked his own bottle to her's.

They each took a drink, their smiles widening.  

At the same time, they turned to each other, speaking in unison.  

"I'm sorry."

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2016, 12:17:51 AM »
After a very brief conversation (consisting mostly of sentence fragment apologies), the two of them agreed to postpone talking until after closing.  At least things were a little less awkward now an they could get through the shift with out a dark cloud hanging between them.  

It ended up being a very busy night, the two of them running around like mad.  Apparently, the fight from the other night had done nothing to discourage people from showing up.  Spirits were high, though, in the way that only making up after a fight could possibly bring.  He even was able to regale some of the female patrons about his split lip when they asked.  Then, finally, it was over.  Gerry waved the last of the regulars off with a smile.  "Have a good one, ya'll."  he said.  "Y'all."  That was different.  He never used that word.  But hearing it day in and day out had worked it into his vocabulary.

He sighed and turned around.  Kara had just been watching him, sitting on a stool, her hands on her knees, a sheepish look on her face.  Gerry gave her a reassuring smile.  They'd put this off, and that was a relief, but time was up.  They had to talk, now.

She chewed on her lip, brushing a wavy lock of chestnut brown hair behind her ear.  "So..."  She said, a slight hint of nervousness in her voice.

"Yeah."  Gerry said.  He lumbered on over to her, those sapphire eyes of hers watching him all the way over until he leaned a hip against the bar.

Who should go first, he wondered?  She answered that unspoken question then.  "I guess we have a lot to talk about."

He nodded, swallowing nervously.  "Kara...I..."  He shut his eyes.  "I want you to know that....what I said?"  A sorrowful look crossing his features.  "I didn't mean it."

She looked to the side as if considering it, making a doubtful noise.  "Mm...yeah you did."  She nodded as if trying to get him to admit it.  "But...that's okay.  Because you weren't wrong."

"I was, though.  I have the problem."  he insisted.

Kara squinted at him, wetting her lips.  "I've been chasing you, Ger.  Trying to get you.  And...honestly, part of taking that date at all was to make you jealous."

He lowered his eyes.  "It's just...I feel I've been stringing you along.  Keeping you waiting and waiting for me to finally be smart enough to-"

She held up her hand.  "Gerry...Wait."  She shut her eyes, trying to work through it.  "Just...let me finish. Please."

He stopped and listened as she continued on.  "If anyone needs to apologize, it's me.  I said...some horrible things to you.  I had NO right to talk about your wife, your marriage...your life like that.  You love her.  And...and that's something I have to get over.  And I'll say it now.   I'll say it because I need you to know."  Those shimmering blue eyes stared deep into him.  "I love you.  From the moment I saw you again before Christmas until this very moment, I've loved you.  I'll love you tomorrow.  I'll love you a year from now.  I'll love you when I'm...a tiny...shriveled up old broad like Sophia on the Golden Girls or whatever."  She smirked.  "But just because I feel that, doesn't obligate you to."

Kara's heart threatened to burst through her chest, it was beating so hard.  She had said it.  Maybe it could be implied after everything, but she NEEDED to say it.

" got me at a weird time in my life..." he started.

"I know.  And I just-"

"It's my turn."  He said halting her with a grin.  "I forgive you.  I'll always forgive you."  He sat down across from her, his eyes traveling over her face.  "If I didn't have you, I don't know what I'd do.  You don't know what you mean to me.  You've helped me up when I'm down.  Given me hope when I had none.  You've been nothing but good to me and my daughter and..."  He sighed.  "I don't think I can ever repay you."

The smile that crossed her face warmed his heart.  "You'll never have to."

Gerry smiled to her and placed a hand on her cheek.  "Maybe...maybe we should go out sometime."  

"If you're not ready...I don't want you to do something you're not comfortable with."  She said, concerned.

Gerry looked at her like she was ridiculous.  "The most beautiful woman in this world just told me she loves me."  He said with a smirk.  "Maybe I owe it to myself to take her out on a date."

Kara couldn't suppress the grin that spread across her face, her eyes lighting up with joy.  She just reached out and grabbed him, embracing him tightly.  Gerry wrapped her in his strong arms holding her close.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]



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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2016, 01:50:33 PM »
It was a beautiful day out.  75, sunny, a nice breeze.  A rare, non-sweltering day for Texas in August.  Danny sat on top of a picnic table outside a little ice-cream stand, a lemon flavored italian ice in his hand.  Kara sat by his knee with an ice cream cone, telling him everything that had happened.  Parents with their kids all around.  Danny's forearms rested on his jean-clad knees, digging out another scoop of his snack while he listened.  The brunette beauty beside him finished the tale. a grin forming on his face, stubble just beginning to form again.  "So, you told him?"

Kara nodded, eyes widened.  "Yeeeeeeup."

"Wow."  Danny said with raised brows.  

"He didn't say it back, of course, but with him...asking me out on a date is about as good."  She said with chuckle.

Danny grinned, swallowing down another scoop.  "So, when's the bachelorette party?  Can I come as the stripper?"  A cheeky smirk was directed her way, flashing those dimples of his.

Kara nearly choked on her ice cream, setting him off laughing.   Her hand covered her mouth as her body shook with laughter.  She looked to him with narrowed eyes, but the smirk said it all.  "You *** hole."

"Well...I didn't just ask you here to gossip about your love life, I'm afraid."  He said.

Kara acted like she was just stunned, her hand going to her chest.  "My stars!  You DO me great injustice, sir!"  She said like a genteel southern belle.  

A lopsided grin formed on his face, but faded quickly.  "I'm leaving."  He said.

Kara's smirk faded.  "What?  Why?"

Danny sighed, "There's been a development I'm not exactly allowed to go across the pond.  My employer is sending me there to cover it."

Kara looked heartbroken.  "But you JUST got here."

Danny nodded sullenly.  "I know.  And I love it here.  Love being around you and Gerry, love being home...but this is my work.  And I love my work."  There was pride on his features then.  "Maybe one day I'll come back.  Meet you and Gerry's kids, hm?"  

She scoffed.  "At the rate we're going?  We'll both be firing dust and cobwebs before that happens."

Danny chuckled.  "You'll get there."  He stared at her fondly.  "I'm glad I got to know you again, Kara Aimsley.  You amazing woman.  And if he doesn't go for it.  Give me a call.  I'll take ya out."

Kara lowered her head, a smile on her face, peering up at him through those long lashes.  "Thank you."

"Come on, give a squeeze."  He opened his arms to his friend hugging her tight.  Kara's arms wrapped around his waist, her cheek resting at his shoulder.  

"I'm gonna miss you."  She said before pulling back.  "You stay in touch, understand?  I better not go another couple DECADES without hearing you, got it?"  She pointed at him.

His face lit up with that charming smile.  "You got it."

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #51 on: June 17, 2016, 02:34:20 PM »
It was a first date.  Nothing crazy.  Nothing intense.  Just two very good friends out together.  Dinner and then a few drinks and a lot of conversation.  It was what Gerry and Kara excelled at.  There were a lot of laughs, a lot of smiles, and of course, a bit of nervousness.  In the end, they wound up back her apartment hanging out and watching Tombstone with him until 3 AM.  Kara fell asleep resting against him.  Gerry just laid her down gently, careful not to wake her, put a blanket over her, kissed her forehead and went home.

It was a good date.  And there would be many more, he was sure.

The next morning he was driving Danny to the airport.  His old friend sitting in the passenger seat of Bill's truck, some Whitesnake blaring on the radio.  Danny smirked, watching Gerry sing along to "Here I Go Again", clad in a plain white t-shirt, jeans and a ratty old baseball cap.  He had changed the lyrics to "Here Dah goes again on his own."  Because...Gerry.

"You know, this is exactly how I pictured you all those years."  

Gerry wasn't sure if that was meant as a good thing, but he just grinned and continued driving.  "I'll take that as a compliment."  His fingers drummed to the beat of the song on his steering wheel as they pulled up to a stoplight.

Danny chuckled.  " go well?"

Gerry looked over to him with raised brows.  "Hm?"

"You and Kara."  Danny clarified with a playful roll of his eyes.

"Oh!  Yeah.  Duh.  Good!  We had a lot of fun."

"Yeah?  Going out again?"  Danny inquired.

A little smile worked it's way on to Gerry's face.  "Yeah.  I think so.  Unless she was secretly miserable and faked all those laughs."

"Oh yeah, I hate it when they fake it."  Danny deadpanned.

"Right?!  I'm over here bringing my A-game and they're over there...feigning laughter..."

Danny laughed and looked out at the road ahead.  "I'm glad.  You two deserve each other.  Sorry I won't be around to see it."

The two of them sat in silence for a while, listening to the radio.  "You know..." Gerry said finally, "If it weren't for you...I don't think any of it would be happening."

"Ok, I know."  Danny said matter-of-factly.  Gerry turned to him with a furrowed brow.


"Oh, yeah, mate.  It was all a part of my delightfully circuitous plan to get rejected by a beautiful woman, make you jealous and send her running into your arms."  

It took Gerry an embarrassingly long time to tell that he was joking.  He laughed finally.  "Bond-level evil genius, man."

"Well, I DO speak with a British accent."  Danny nodded.

They arrived at the airport, Gerry helping unload his bags.  The two men gave each other a fond hug and wished each other well.  Danny started walking toward the doors when Gerry called after him.

"Hey, kid!"

Danny turned around, a curious look on his face.

"You can' buy an ice cream cone with a penny!  And pull your damn pants up!"

Danny's eyes turned downward as he chuckled.  He looked up at his friend with mock anger.  "Bucker!  At-Ho!"

Gerry's face lit up with laughter as he raised a hand, waving goodbye.

Danny returned the wave, hefting a bag over his shoulder, and disappeared into the airport.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2016, 05:36:12 PM »
Bill and Rose owned a little cabin by a lake a few hours away.  Gerry remembered, when they were kids, they would spend a weekend out there a year for family reunions.  That all stopped when he was 9 and his grandfather passed.  Since then, the families all sort of drifted apart.  But he still had fond memories of that idyllic cabin.  So, when Bill and Rose broached the idea of taking a family trip to visit the place for Labor Day, he was super pumped to go back.

Fishing, swimming, cookouts, bonfires?  That was totally his jam.  He asked Kara if she wanted to go with and he barely got the entire sentence out before she was in.  She'd only ever heard about those trips second hand.  She'd always considered the Finnegans to be her family anyway, so this was one more step in the direction of BEING family.  She made the announcement to the bar, as soon as she could, that for a few days, they would be closed for vacation, but they would be back in swing immediately after.  

It would be Ginny's first time there since she graduated High School.  Throughout college, most of her holidays had been spent at school or searching for Gerry.  This would be a rare treat.

It was bright and early when they had started loading up.  The plan was to load up and be on the road by 10 and it was creeping closer and closer.  The family hustled around grabbing their pre-packed bags and loading them into two separate cars.

Gerry, clad in grey v-neck t-shirt, baseball cap and beat-up old jeans, hefted his duffel over his shoulder, carrying it out toward the Rose's SUV.  The redhead was securing Nasya in her baby seat in the back, talking in and excited, playful voice to her.  "Some little girl's goin' for a ride!  Isn't she!"

The child's face lit up with glee, a high pitched squeal leaving her smiling, sparsely toothed mouth.  Ginny clipped her in, gasping in a lung of air playfully before leaning in and smothering the little one with kisses.  "MmmmWAH!  Love you, button nose."  She lightly tapped Nasya's tiny cute nose with a finger.

Gerry tossed his bag in the trunk, Kara's ratty old clunker rolling to a stop on the sidewalk behind them.  The brunette knockout looked rushed, her hair in a pony tail under a baseball cap, make up forgone in favor of a pair of dark sunglasses.  She rolled the sleeves of her button up green and blue plaid shirt to her elbow as she stepped out, long legs clothed in tight, faded jeans.  "Sorry!  Sorry I'm late!"  She said, rushing to the back of the car.

A smirk crossed Gerry's lips as he stepped toward her.  "Yeah, Kara, what the hell?  We're all waiting for ya and you just come sauntering in like it's not a big deal..."

Bill hollered at the house "ROSE?!  ROOOOOOSE?!  WHERE ARE MY KEYS?!"

"HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT YOU DID WITH YOUR KEYS?!"  She shouted back from inside the house.



Bill checked and produced his keys.  Looking to Gerry and Kara, he pointed suddenly, between the two of them. "Not a word."  Ginny snorted and he pointed at her too before moving on.  "Found 'em!  They were in the car!"

Kara chuckled and then turned to Gerry with raised brows.  "Ohhhh.  'We're all waiting for you!'"  She said, lowering her voice to mimic him.  She tossed her bag at him as he chuckled.  He caught it and brought it over to the car, loading them into the back.

Kara was digging through her hatchback, grabbing a small cooler.  "I brought some snacks for the trip, some sammiches, jerky, and..." she set the cooler down with a grunt on the backseat hump.  "Grab the bag in my passenger seat and we've got a ****load of chips n' stuff!"

Ginny looked at her wide eyed.  "Oh, you are my new favorite."  She said in a low, enthralled tone.  

Rose came out dragging her own bag, handing it off to Bill.  He took it by the straps and pulled it up on to the tailgate, sliding the bag back into the bed.  Rose sighed, she was up by 6 AM today.  For a woman who usually went to bed at the crack of dawn, she was not at all used to this being awake early business.  "Well, that should be the last of it.  Everyone ready?" she said through a yawn.

Gerry peered into the back of the SUV, his head nodding as he counted the contents of the cargo area.  "Bags and poles loaded, baby strapped in..."  he started, very businesslike.

"Beer's packed."  Bill continued for him, patting his truck, very businesslike.  

The two men nodded to each other.  "Well done, sir."  Gerry nodded.

Bill extended a hand.  "Doctor!"

"Doctor!"  Gerry responded taking his hand, aggressively shaking it.

The bit went on.  And on.  Both of them saying the word in a multitude of different inflections.

The girls just gave them withering looks, waiting for it to end.  Ginny rolled her eyes.  "You guys are idiots."

Kara grinned over to the skinny redhead, pulling open the passenger door.  "Let's roll."   She said excitedly, sliding into the front seat.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2016, 09:13:31 AM »
"Well, I think you're just sexist."  Ginny said mid-argument, glaring up at her brother in the passenger front seat.

"How am I sexist?"  He asked, shooting her an incredulous look.

"You don't like it because they're all women and it hurts poor man baby's ego."  She said in a mocking, pouty voice.  

"Wrong!"  Gerry fired back.  "I don't like it because the humor is completely flat, the characters all look and act like ****ing cartoons, the CG looks like complete ass, the ONE male they do have in the main cast is played as being borderline retarded-"

"Oh, what a shock!  The MAN is upset by being the butt of the joke for once!  But it would be okay if the character was a woman, right?"  Ginny asserted.  You could HEAR the eye roll in her voice.  

"No!  Look at the original.  Was there a woman in that cast who was played up as being stupid?  Even one?"  

"Louis's date!"  Ginny yelled throwing a fist in the air victoriously.  "BOOM!"

Gerry groaned and rolled his eyes.  "MAIN characters.  You know...who had more than ONE scene!"  He held up his hand and ticked off his fingers.  "Janine.  Smart-ass, bookish New Yorker.  Dana?  Intelligent, headstrong everywoman."

"What's your point?"  the redhead asked with crossed arms, those big pools of blue narrowed at her brother.

"The point is, that despite this new movie touting itself as a 'big win' for the cause of equality simply because they made them all women, the ORIGINAL, made in...what?  1983?   *They* did a better job of painting men and women as equals."  Gerry said.   He turned back toward her with raised brows, "Even your Louis's date example was a big a goof as HE was!"

"Oh, bull****!  Dana's a 'strong intelligent woman'?  Is that why she's crawling all over Peter when she-"

"She was possessed!"  Gerry argued, throwing up his hands.

"Lame excuse!  They had to take the most prominent female role and get her all horned up over the guy.  Like always."

"Oh, so, now women aren't allowed to be attracted to men on film?"  Gerry accused her.

"No that's not what I'm saying! "

"What are you saying?"  He asked.

"I'm just pointing out that they reduced her to needing his dick like she'd wandered the desert for months and he was a running garden hose!"  Ginny said with a roll of her eyes.

"She thought he was the key master!   And she was the gate keeper!  It's how they brought about Gozer!"  He demanded.

"So, she HAD to get ****ed just to make that **** happen, right?  Typical male fantasy nonsense."  She spat back at him.

"You are so FAR off base."  Gerry said, shaking his head.  "And compare the portrayal of anyone who ISN'T white in those movies.  Winston?  Average, every day New Yorker looking to make a paycheck.  What's her face from SNL?  Screaming, loud, angry black lady stereotype."

"Oh, she is not!"  Ginny moaned, annoyed, drawing out the "not".

"She SO is!"  Gerry insisted, then imitating her voice.  "'I dunno if this is a race thang or woman thang, but I'm mad as hay-ell.'  Come on!"

"What?!  What's wrong with that?"  Ginny demanded of him.

"It's such a hacky, cheap...lame-ass joke!  You took an actress who only ever plays angry and then, instead of giving her the role of an intelligent scientist, have her rolling up with a Cadillac and slapping people while screaming 'The power of Patti compels you!'?"

Ginny didn't want to agree with that one, but he DID have a point.  "Okay, fine, but what about Kate McKinnon?"  She asked.  

"What about her?"  Gerry asked.

"She looks hilarious!"  Ginny's eyes wide as saucers as she threw up her hands.

"Disagree." he said with a shake of the head.


"Nope, disagree.  She looks like a ****ing cartoon character."  Gerry opined matter-of-factly.

"She looks awesome!  How do you not like her?!  She's hilarious."  Ginny insisted.

"Why is she hilarious?"

"She' she's all crazy and...sassy.  She's just funny!"

Well, that did nothing for Ginny's nerd rage.  Her eye was actually twitching.

"Sorry."  He shook his head.  "Don't like her.  She doesn't do anything funny, she's weird for the sake of being everything in this movie, she's just a blunt object beating the audience over the head screaming 'NOTICE ME!'"  

Ginny stared at him, bewildered and enraged.

"Sorry."  He said with a shrug.  "It just looks like a **** movie."

He turned to Kara, who sat in the driver's seat.  "What do you think?"

She looked over with raised brows.  "Hm?"  She blinked and then formed an O with her lips. "Oh!  Yeah, no.  I don't like Ghostbusters."

Both Gerry and Ginny stared at her like she had just confessed to murdering puppies by the sack-full.

"WHAT?!"  Ginny exclaimed.

"How do you NOT like Ghostbusters?!"  Gerry added, wide-eyed.

"I dunno.  Never got into it." Kara shrugged non-chalantly.

"But it's awesome!"  Ginny interjected

"And classic!  It's Bill Murray, Harold Ramis-" Gerry began, ticking off his fingers with each name.

"DAN ACKROYD!  SIGOURNEY WEAVER!"  Ginny contributed.

Gerry hooked a thumb back at Ginny nodding vehemently.  "Yeah!  And Rick Moranis!  Annie Potts, Kara!  Annie ****ing Potts!"  

Kara rose an eyebrow, making a mocking  face.  "I know who's in it."

"Well, we're watching it this weekend."  Ginny said, the tone of a disappointed parent in her voice.

"Damn RIGHT, we are."  Gerry agreed.    He was silent a long moment.  "You DON'T like the Ghostbusters...hell's wrong with you?"  

Again silence in the car.

"LOVE the Ghostbusters."  He muttered almost petulantly.

"GREAT movie."  Ginny nodded in agreement, that disappointed tone still prevalent in her voice.

A little smirk played across Kara's lips as she focused on the road ahead.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #54 on: June 26, 2016, 10:27:26 AM »
The open road spread out ahead of them.  And endless blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds on a perfect summer's day.  Untold miles and miles of black pavement cut through sand, crops, trees.  An entire world he was rediscovering.  So radically different from Rhydin, yet still so familiar.  Gerry's left hand gripped the wheel, his elbow propped on the open window.  The air blowing through his short, light brown hair, he was reminded of being on-board the Dominous.  That cool sea breeze carrying him to places unknown.  Adventures he could scarcely have imagined as a child.  Terrors, excitement.  Sadness and joys ahead, but always the potential for something new.  

Those cerulean eyes turned to his right.  Kara's feet were kicked up onto the dash, her lips forming a satisfied smile as she let the wind rush across her flawless (at least in his mind) face.  Her eyes closed peacefully.  In the rearview mirror, he could see Ginny  in the backseat, sleeping next to the snoozing Nasya.  Behind them was his father's old pick up, ambling right along.  His father, hiding behind a pair of aviators had his attention on the road while  his mother reclined as much as she could, asleep in the passenger seat.  There, with his family around him, he was content.  This was perfect.  This was good.  If this was what life was now...he was glad.  

Slowly, those long lashes parted as Kara's icy-blue eyes opened, looking over to him, the smile on her face widening.  She reached across the center console, long nimble fingers taking Gerry's weathered hand and intertwining with his.  The former pirate glanced at their hands a moment before turning his eyes up to meet her's.  His fingers closed around her hand, giving her a squeeze.  But then, he didn't let go.

The two of them rode on, hands clasped tight in the early afternoon sun.  He'd denied himself this too long, and right now...for the first time in months, he was truly happy.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Rose Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2016, 10:48:09 PM »
Somewhere in the 5th hour of driving, they decided to spit the cars to girls and boys.  Ginny was behind the wheel with Rose in the passenger seat while Kara looked after Nasya in the back.  A debate still going on after an hour.  

"No, no, I'm not saying it's a GOOD book-"  Ginny said.

"Because it's garbage."  Kara asserted.

"It's NOT garbage!  It's entertaining!"

"It was Twilight fan fiction!"

"IT WAS CHANGED!  I don't see ANY mentions of sparkly vampires in there, do you?"

"Oh, please!  Like Christian Grey isn't just Edward whathisnuts without the vampirism."

"He ISN'T!  He's a billionaire and-"

"He likes to wail on women?"

"It's S&M!  There's a difference!"

Rose sighed.  Both women looked at her curiously.

"What?"  Ginny asked.

"It's just..."  Rose started, her hand to her forehead.  "Those books don't get ANYTHING right about the culture..."

Ginny rolled her eyes and was about to say something then, stopped.   Slowly, her head turned to her mother as something occurred to her.  "Mom...why do you know about the culture?"

A sadistic little smirk grew on Kara's face.  Rose just shrugged and looked out the window, a similar smile on her own face, that Kara read loud and clear.

"Mom?"  Ginny asked as Kara suppressed a laugh.  A disgusted look crossed the redhead's face.  "Ew!  Seriously?  Just...UGH!  No!  EW!"

"What's the matter, Gin?  Mommas and poppas need lovin' too."  Kara antagonized her.  This was so good.

"Shut up!  It's not YOUR mom and dad..."  She shuddered "DOING things to eachother..."

"Well, sweetie, how do you think YOU got here?"  Rose asked in her kindly way.

Ginny recoiled, a distasteful look on her face. "No!  Stop it!"

Kara looked up thoughtfully.  "Yeah, and you know... knowing my Dad, he probably-"

"EW STOP!"  Ginny demanded of her.

Rose grinned and just started chuckling.  Ginny looked over at her mother and the little smug grin on her face.  "What...what's that?"

"You are WAY too easy."  Rose said through her laughter.

Kara just burst out into a full belly laugh from the back of the car.  The sound must have amused Nasya because she let out a little joyful squeal as well.  Ginny's face turned bright red as she gripped the wheel.  "You cover her ears!  That's not funny!"

Kara settled down a bit, collecting herself with a big intake of air.  "Oh, come on!  It's better than what the guys are probably talking about."


"AND I'M FREEEEE!"  Gerry belted out behind the wheel of the truck.  "FREE FAAAAALLIN'!"  He nodded his head along with the music, biting his lower lip.

Bill was drumming on the dash, his head bobbing, really "feelin'" it.  "YEAH, FREE-EE-EE-EE-EEEEEEEEEEEE!  FREEEEE FAAAAALLIN'!"

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #56 on: June 27, 2016, 05:32:40 PM »
The sun was setting when they pulled up to the lake-front cabin.  It was a beautiful 2-story place with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a huge living room and kitchen, and a big deck overlooking the lake.  The entire interior rustic and made of sturdy oak.  Gerry stepped out of the truck, giving a groaning stretch.  The place looked smaller than he'd remembered.  Of course...he was about 5'3" the last time he'd been here.  So much hadn't changed, though.  The fire pit, the pier, the old tire swing, the pontoon boat still in it's shed.  All just how he'd remembered them.

Bill hefted a bag over his shoulder and unlocked the house, letting Rose enter first.  The lights flipped on, revealing the rustically decorated interior.  A pair of old brown leather couches and recliners were gathered near a large, cozy hearth.  Stained wooden stairs leading down into the living room from the second floor balcony.  4 mounted deer heads were over the fireplace.  At the west wall was a long bookcase, loaded with stuff to read.  Books his family had thumbed through for years.  A big, 70's style turntable with a wall-full of old records.  Most of it the likes of Perry Como and Bing Crosby, but Bill had updated the collection a bit to feature some classic rock.  An old chess table flanked by chairs was next to a cabinet full of board games.  

He could remember playing with his grandfather, the old man, more often than not, letting him win unless he got cocky.  Proving that he could demolish the youngun' if he wanted and keeping him on his toes.  Old Grandpa Finnegan.  Pa, he'd called him.  A hold-over from when Gerry had just been learning to talk.  Though, later in life, Gerry just called him Pops.  A tough, but sweet man, he'd always doted on Gerry and Ginny.  So much so that his other children felt jealous that their poorly-raised, misbehaving brats didn't receive the same amount of adoration.  

It was Pops who'd Let him have his first BB gun.  Taught Gerry to shoot a gun safely, and how to respect it.  He remembered it well how the old man loved his weapons, but always laid into him about how they were not toys and to be respected.  

He could still remember sitting on Pop's lap on that pontoon boat while the old man let him steer.  How there was always a beer in his hand.  The old, battered formerly white cap he always wore hung up on a coat hangar where he'd left it on his last trip to the lake.  He remembered the dulcet tones of Hank Williams singing "I'm So Lonesome" late into the night.

Gerry had never known his Grandmother.  She'd passed when he was about 2.  But the loss had left it's mark on Pops.  The old man often told him how much his Grandma would have loved him and his sister.  How she'd have been so proud of them.  In this moment, he wished he could be around to see his great grand-daughter.

Gerry tromped up the stairs to the room that would be his and Nasya's, giving the door a push.  He let his bag drop to the floor beside him and set the slumbering infant in the crib.  He walked over and flopped back onto the bed, the springs creaking under his weight.  He let out a groan as his back popped a few times.

Kara leaned her shoulder against the doorway, a hand on her hip, looking exhausted from the drive.  Gerry's eyes turned to her.  "I think I might lay here forever.  Is that okay?"  He said weakly.

Kara nodded.  "I'll bring you food and water for a few days, but I'm not cleaning out your bedpan."  A tired smile on her face, she walked in and laid down next to him, pulling her hair out of it's ponytail, letting it spread out over the sheets behind her.  She turned her head to him.  "Or I may join you."

"Works for me.  Least I'll have someone to talk to."  He nodded.

Kara smiled at him.  "Then it's settled."

Ginny walked past the door and then back tracked, pointing at them. " Hey.  None of that, now."  She said with a faux stern tone.

Gerry rolled his eyes.  "We're just-"

"EHP-BEP-BEP!  No excuses!  Sinners..."  She smirked and walked off.

Gerry and Kara exchanged a look.  "We may have to destroy her."  Gerry said covertly.

"Oh, that'll be easy.  I'll just tell her about your Mom and Dad and a ball gag."  The smirk that crossed her face over his expression then was the most self-satisfied thing that's ever existed.  "Huh.  That's the same look she gave me."

Gerry snorted and shook his head.  "You stay away from my daughter."  He deadpanned, earning a little laugh from Kara.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #57 on: June 28, 2016, 09:47:55 AM »
Nasya's cries woke him out of a dead sleep, Gerry's bloodshot eyes popping open.  It took a moment for him to remember where he was.  "Okay...."  He groaned. "Okay, I'm up, Munchkin."  

He pushed himself up off the bed and went over to Nasya.  After a quick diaper change and popping a bottle in her mouth, she was curled in his arms.  It was about 7 and the sun was rising over the lake as he stepped out onto the back porch.  It was still kind of cool out, a nice breeze hitting him.  The tranquil sounds of wildlife waking up filled his ears, bringing a smile to his face.

Gerry looked down at the blue eyed beauty in his arm and spoke softly.  "You know what?  One day, you're gonna be bigger and we're going to come here.  We're gonna go swimming and fishing.  We're gonna ride on the boat and make s'mores...Just you and me, kiddo.  I'm gonna teach you how to do all the things my Pops taught me and Aunt Gin.  That sound like fun?"

Of course she didn't understand him, but the little girl smiled wide, just like most of the time he talked to her.  His face lit up with a warm smile before he leaned down and kissed her forehead.  

Gerry looked over the clearing that were the cabin's grounds, down the hill that lead to the boathouse and pier and shimmering water.  The house would be a flurry of activity in an hour, everyone rushing about to get breakfast ready, but for now, it was peaceful.  Serene.   His daughter in his arms standing in a piece of his childhood he had almost forgotten during his tenure in Rhydin.   Yes, he was right where he needed to be.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2016, 12:12:12 PM »
Nasya was inside with Rose when Gerry stepped out onto the deck dressed in a sleeveless t-shirt, board-shorts, and flipflops.  Kara and Ginny were layed back on a pair of lounge chairs in the afternoon sun, decked out in bikinis.  "Hey, me and dad are gonna take the boat out and go fishin'.   Who's in?"  He said, excitedly with a clap of his hands.

Ginny turned her head, blue eyes hidden behind her sunglasses.  "Whole big fat dump truck-load of NOOOOOPE."  She said, accentuating the nope by deepening her voice.

Gerry gave her a wry look.  He never really expected his sister to be up for it anyway.  His gaze shifted to Kara.  "What about you, sticks?"

The beautiful brunette quirked an eyebrow beneath her glasses.  "Sticks?  Oh.  My legs.  Right."

He smirked.  "What do you say?"

"Oh, man.  Ger bear.  I'd love to...but if I get out of this chair, there's a solid chance that it might float away.  And I just can't be responsible for that."  A little grin played across her features as she settled back in.

"You are a true hero."  He said.  "You guys are lame.  Later!"  He said taking his leave of them.  

Kara listlessly waved to him, not looking up at all.  "Go on without me!  Remember me as I am!  Avenge me!   Avennnnge meeeeee!"

The tall man stepped out onto the boat.  "Looks like it's just you and me, pop."  He said, stepping onto the pontoon boat.

Bill was just setting down a cooler, decked out in a jimmy buffet t-shirt and a pair of shorts.  "Good!  They'd just be yackin' it up the entire time."  

Gerry grinned, moving over to the driver's seat as Bill untied the boat.  The two men rode out onto the lake, drifting along a bit until they got to their spot and dropped anchor.  Their poles in-hand, lures in the water, and their feet propped up on the railing. they relaxed in their folding chairs.  Bill cracked a beer and handed the can over to Gerry.

"Thanks."  He said with a content smile as his dad got one for himself.  The clinked the cans together and took a sip.

They sat in silence, enjoying just the presence of each other and the quiet that they so rarely got back home.  Finally, Bill spoke.

"Sounds like you're getting words better now."  he said to his son.

Gerry nodded.  "Yeah!  I mean, every now and again, I stumble and can't think of the word I'm trying to say,'s nowhere near as bad as it was."

More comfortable silence followed.  Bill got a smile on his face, a little laugh escaping him.  He turned to Gerry.  "You remember the trips out here with your Grandpa?"

Gerry smirked.  "Oh yeah.  Best times ever."

"We used to drive him up a wall, me and your uncles."  Gerry noted that Bill had a smile on his face when he said it.  It wasn't often that he got anywhere near a smile when talking about his brothers.  When Pops had died, there was a big fight over inheritance.  His uncles believing they were treated unfairly when Bill was named the executor of their father's estate (despite him having cared for and ensured proper healthcare for their dying father.)  After a long, ugly battle, Bill took the cabin and let them have the rest of his inheritance, with the understanding that they never contact him again.  No, there was not much for Bill to smile about with regards to them.

"I remember one time, when we were kids, about 14, 15... he took us to a Rangers game.  You know, back when they were the Senators...and he had this old war buddy, Schmiddy.  Well, after the game, Schmiddy stays behind to hit the head while we went out to the parking lot.  Dad's waiting and waiting for him, and you remember how impatient he was."  Bill grinned.  "Me and your uncle Dave and Jim start going  'LOOK THERE HE ISn't...', 'THERE HE doesn't go...',  'Oh, here he doesn't come.'"  

Bill and Gerry both chuckled as the elder Finnegan continued his story.  "And every-"  More laughter.  "EVERY time, he falls for it.  So, dad's just getting angrier and angrier every time we pull it until finally, he just cracks."  Bill straightened up, affecting a deeper, comical voice to'You listen here you little ****s!  I'm gonna smack the **** outta all a' ya if ya make ONE more peep.'"

Gerry grinned, he'd heard that threat SO many times.  Rarely was it ever followed up upon.

Bill started laughing again.  ", Jimmy sees Schmiddy coming and goes, 'Dad, here he-'  'DOESN'T COME!  HILARIOUS JIMMY!  HILARIOUS!  IT NEVER GETS OLD!'"

Gerry's sides hurt he was laughing so hard.

"Then, Schmiddy opens the door, scaring the hell out of the old man and just sits down.  Dad would NOT talk to us for the rest of the night!"  Bill chuckled, shaking his head.  

Gerry took a long drink from his can, looking back on a few memories.  "You remember old man Fahey?"

"Fahey...was he the old blowhard whose grandkid you played ball with?"  Bill asked, a hint of exasperation in his voice.

"The one and only."  Gerry nodded, sporting a wide grin.  "Well, you remember how Pops could bull**** with the best of 'em, right?"  

"Oh.  Incorrigible.  A font of questionable knowledge."  Bill nodded.

"Well, you remember when I was hurt that week and I ended up on the bench?  Well, I hear him and Fahey just in a BS battle royale.  At one point, pops is claiming he trained with Yankees back in the day, then the guy just, 'Aw that ain't nothin'!  I invented the breaking ball!'"  Gerry smirked, laughter in his voice "And everything pops came up with, this guy made a more outrageous claim.  Pop, met Marilyn Monroe?  This guy went on a date with Doris Day.  Pop caught a 4 foot long walleye?  This guy went sword-fishing on the high seas.  The entire time, I'm just trying not to laugh, because Pops was getting more and more frustrated, and you can hear it in his voice.  Well, game ends, and he grabs me by the arm and goes 'Let's get the hell outta here!  That guy's full of ****!"

Bill laughed, an impressed look on his face.  "Someone out BS'd my dad?!  Wow!"

"Oh, man.  Made him look like Jon Lovits as the pathological liar."  Gerry nodded.

Bill adopted his absolute best Jon Lovits impression "Yeah...yeah...with my wife Morgan Faaaaaairchild...that's the ticket..."
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]


Kara Aimsley

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Re: Chapter 1: Life On The Other Side (18+)
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2016, 07:55:33 PM »
7 beers and 4 keepers later, Gerry and Bill returned to the cabin.  After locking down the boat and storing the fish for a bit, he returned inside.  The girls were all in there, playing Cards Against Humanity, a glass of Rose's famous home-made Sangria beside each of them.  Kara perked up upon seeing Gerry.  She MIGHT have a been a little drunk.

"The Great White Hunters returneth!" She proclaimed for all to hear.

Bill entered just as they all let out a drawn out "woo".  He shook his head and gave Gerry a nudge with his elbow. "Boozehounds."  he said derisively before stepping in.  "Hello, ladies.  And what are we doing here?"  He said leaning down and smooching Rose's cheek.  She reached back, a slightly inebriated smile on her face as she clung to him.  

"Playin' a card game."  She said.  Her smile faded quickly and she looked back at him, then.   Super serious.  "It's filthy."

He snorted and peered over her shoulder at the cards.  "...Michael Jackson's spotted p-"  His eyes snapped up, looking at each of them.  Kara and Ginny giggled.

"Ya'll need Jesus..." he said, shaking his head and walking off into the kitchen to grab a beer.

Gerry pulled up a chair.  "I'm in next round."

The game continued late into the night, Bill and Rose heading off to bed around midnight.  That was when they just decided to switch to a drinking game, playing a little "never have I ever".  Gerry learned quite a bit about his sister's surprisingly debaucherous college years.  Ginny turned beat red multiple times, of course, but the more she drank, the more comfortable she got.  By 2:30, Ginny was out like a light, curled up on the couch with her head on Kara's lap.

She glanced down at the snoozing redhead, grinning.  "Aww...look at sleeping beauty."  she said quietly stroking her hair gently.

Gerry glanced over with a grin, two beer bottles in his hand.  "You two bonding?"  He handed her the bottle and clinked his to her's.  He turned and looked out the window as he took a swig of his bottle.  

"Hey."  He said turning those blue eyes on her.  "What do you say we grab some more beers, some s'more stuff, and we go outside and build a fire?"

Kara's eyes widened excitedly.  "Yes.  Yes! Awesome, let's do that."

"You're into it?"

"I'm into it, dude.  I'm gonna grab a hoodie, meet me out there?"  she said, carefully slipping out from underneath Ginny, laying her head on a pillow.  

Gerry grabbed a bag of s'more stuff and a six pack of beers, moving outside to the fire pit.  He gathered firewood and started setting up the fire.  He'd just got a good blaze going when Kara came walking out, a green zip-up hoodie over her t-shirt and shorts that showed off her long, strong legs.  In one hand was an acoustic guitar.  She put on a big, excited cheesy grin, bouncing.  "Look what I fouuuuuuund!"  She said in a sing song voice.

"Oh, dear god..."  Gerry chuckled.  "Where did you find that?"  

"It was in my room!"

"That was my grandpa's."  He said, smiling, as memories came rushing back.  Nights by this very pit when Pops would play old ballads.  "Red River Valley", "El Paso"...sometimes he'd play "Rainbow Connection" while Rose would sing.  Those were amazing nights, Gerry recalled, as a warm smile widened on his lips.  "Can you play?"

She looked down at the guitar and shrugged.  "I dunno.  You tell me."  She said with an arrogant air, throwing the strap over her neck.  She wiggled the fingers of her strumming hand as if she was about to do something really impressive... and immediately started sloppily playing random notes, super aggressively, a rock star sneer on her face like she was rocking his world.

When she finished and raised her fists triumphantly, Gerry nodded putting on a show of being impressed, slowly clapping like it was the greatest thing he'd ever heard.  Kara put her hands together and bowed her head in thanks.  "Yes, yes, bathe me in your adoration!  I taught myself, you know?"

Laughter erupted between the two of them as she stepped over sitting on the stone bench beside him.  "No.  I can play, yeah."  She grinned and strummed, he fingers finding a chord.  

"This one goes out to guy I know named Gerry.  Ger-bear, wherever you are...this one's for you." She said with theatrical wistfulness.

Her head bobbed as she played a soft sweet little melody.  Her voice finally came into play.  Sweet, low, a little raspy, but definitely pleasant.

"Shadows grow so long before my eyes
And they're moving across the page
Suddenly the day turns into night
Far away from the city
Don't hesitate
'Cause your love won't wait"

Gerry smiled over to her, the brunette's stunning blue eyes closed as she focused on the sweet, slow little ballad she played for him.

"Ooh baby I love your way....everyday
Wanna tell you I love your way...everyday
Wanna be with you night and day"

He blinked, watching her just soothingly own the song.

"Moon appears to shine and light the sky
With the help of some firefly
Wonder how they have the power to shine, shine, shine
I can see them under the pine
Don't hesitate
'Cause your love won't wait..."

Her fingers moved expertly across the neck of the guitar, not a single note or chord out of place.  Gerry'd never heard her sing like this.  They'd done a karaoke night or two, but she was mostly a Joan Jett, Bonnie Tyler, or Pat Benatar kinda girl.  This...this was a nice surprise.  Those smokey blue eyes opened to look at him, a little grin coming to her lips as she sang to him.

"Ooh baby I love your way....everyday
Wanna tell you I love your way...everyday
Wanna be with you night and day..."

As the song came to a close, he realized she was staring right at him.  Not singing for him, but singing TO him.  Their eyes meeting, locking.  And in those eyes, he saw love.  Real, fiery, unconditional love.  Part of him didn't believe he deserved it.  Not from someone like her.  She looked at him as if to say "It's your's anyway."  The corners of his mouth twitched into a happy smile as Kara strummed the final chord, returning the smile up at him.

"Wow..." he said quietly.  "That was...that was great."

She looked down at the guitar demurely, brushing her hair behind her ear.  "Thanks."  Those blue eyes turned up at him again, setting his heart pounding.  She had a way of looking at him that just leveled him.  Gave him a wonderful pain in his stomach.

"I didn't know you could sing like that."  He said with a tilt of his head.

"Yeah...I don't really do it for just anybody."  She nodded, chewing lightly on her lower lip.  For a long moment the two just sat there in front of the fire before she scooted closer and leaned her head on his shoulder.  Gerry wrapped and arm around her waist, resting his cheek against her head.  Kara's face was a  mask of contentment.  There with her favorite person in the world, in the most peaceful place she'd ever been, on a perfect summer's night.

Gerry sniffed out a laugh.  Kara's eyes turned up to him.  "What?"  She asked.

"That song's gonna be in my head for a week."  He said with a chuckle.

"Oh, is it?"  She asked mischievously, sitting up and taking the guitar again.  

Gerry looked at her with a concerned expression.  "Oh no."

"Gerry...have you not heard?"

"No!  No, don't!"


Gerry lifted his fists to the sky dramatically.  "NOOOOOOOO!"