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Electra

Midnight Run (IC)

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Autumn brought cooler weather and shorter nights, but the darkness and the late hour wasn't too much of a bother. The garage at the Claremont Academy was well-lit, and the two people who occupied it didn't need a lot of sleep. Erin sat on the floor of the garage and passed tools to Trevor, who was hip-deep underneath the chassis of her blue truck, tinkering with the fuel injector manifold. Erin's mechanical skill was still that of a knowledgeable amateur, but it was nice to sit in the peace and quiet of the garage with him, and interesting to watch him work. They didn't get a lot of peaceful and quiet time together. "So, how fast is this gonna go when you're done with it?" she asked.

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Long and nimble albeit calloused fingers wrapped around the handle of a proffered wrench before disappearing back under the truck. A short, light exhalation indicated a small smile hidden by the shadows under the metal framework. "How fast do you want it to go?" Trevor responded with a subtle note of playfulness reserved for the present company. The feeling of the cool cement through his white t-shirt was a welcome reminder that for once the pair was actually home and safe, while he was beginning to enjoy being able to see clearly without the aid of a flashlight.

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Erin grinned, for all he couldn't see it. "Hmm, well I figure it should go at least faster than I can run," she mused, "so maybe two hundred miles per hour on the straightaway?" she offered. "I've only had my license for eight months, but I've been practicing by playing a lot of Mario Kart in the common room. I think that should count for something." She laid down on her stomach on the floor to look under the truck at him. "Maybe you could put a rocket on it." That last part was pure teasing, she knew how he'd felt about the rocket on the back of his precious motorcycle in Rick Lucas' strange parallel world.

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"What did you think the big red button I put on the dash did?" Trevor deadpanned serenely, tilting his head as much as the confined space would allow to cock an eyebrow at her, a quizzical expression which quickly dissolved into a flash of white teeth. "Two hundred should be easy. Reinforced frame'll slow it down a bit," he mused absently, "but I'll set up a toggle between speed and torque for towing capacity." He reached out a lanky arm toward Erin, refocusing his attention on her. "Now, if you'd just let me paint it black..."

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"And let you rename it the Night Pickup?" she chuckled, scooting a little closer to him on the concrete floor. "Nuh-uh. I like it blue. It's pretty, and it's not like I use it when I need to be stealthy, anyhow. It's like the best of both worlds, I can have my blue truck, and if for some reason I need a black truck or a black bike or a black horse and carriage or a black rickshaw, I know the guy to talk to." She looked at his outstretched hand, touched it lightly with her fingers, then handed him a rag to wipe off the engine grease. "When did you learn fingerspelling, anyway?" she asked, apropos of nothing.

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"Gramps actually did used to have a stable," Trevor confirmed wryly as he slid out from under the truck. The movement pushed his t-shirt up past his stomach, and he took a moment to pull it back down over a torso increasingly displaying the results of his rigorous training regimen, leaving black fingerprints on the white fabric. In truth, the garment didn't quite fit the young man's broadening frame anymore, but with the hectic pace of life at Claremont, he hadn't bothered to adjust his mundane wardrobe accordingly.

Accepting the rag and belatedly wiping his hands, he blinked at the sudden question. "Hmm? Oh, just after Mark's father disappeared. Eve was taking it pretty hard. Occurred to me that if something ever prevented her from communication telepathically..." He shrugged, a little self-conscious. "Back-up plan."

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Erin allowed herself a moment to enjoy the view of Trevor's very nice muscles before politely returning her gaze to his face and paying attention to what he was saying. "Seems like a good idea, and not just to talk with Eve," she allowed with a nod. "I saw you and Tricia using it, and it seemed to be working pretty well for whatever you were talking about." Which was something she was still curious about, but wasn't going to ask. Instead she asked, "Can you teach me how?"

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It took a moment for Trevor to recall the exchange. "Ah, right. After I'd put my foot in my mouth. That was..." The young man hesitated for a moment, catching on the word 'private'. Acting on some advice he thought was sound despite its unusual source, he changed his mind. "Our parents, mine and Tricia's, that is, they... argued a lot before they stopped talking to each other. I always worried that... Point being, I was just letting her know you weren't tossing me out on my ear," he finished, largely failing in his attempt to add levity to his tone. "But, ah, yeah, if you want to learn some, sure. Could be fun."

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"I learned some of the letters a long time ago," Erin told him, forming her hand into an "a", then a "b," a "c," and then leaping straight to "h." "But I never really learned how to do it fast. I could practice on you, and maybe it'll be handy in a fight or on a mission sometime." She leaned back against the wheel of the truck, looking at him. "And yeah, some arguments are a lot worse than others. I was kind of bothered, but I wouldn't, you know, toss you out. I say stupid things all the time, I can't hold it too much against other people when they're kind of tactless."

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"For which I am eternally grateful," Trevor assured her with a nod deep enough to contain a hint of a bow. Placing one hand on the back of his neck, he winced slightly. "My grandmother passed away before I was born, so I haven't had many good roll models in terms of, y'know. Relationships." The youth had been taking special care not to apply any names or labels to what he and Erin shared, but that at least seemed a safe enough term. "I think we do okay, though, right?"

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"So far, so good," Erin said, her smile a little rueful. "I mean, it's not my area of expertise either. My parents had a good relationship, but I never really... I don't know, watched it or thought about it in an adult way while it was happening. I don't even know how they met," she admitted. "But if we're happy and getting along and doing stuff together, I guess we're doing something right, right? I mean, what more do we want in terms of doing okay?"

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"No complaints here," Trevor murmured in agreement, the corner of his mouth turning up as he moved forward to clasp his hands behind Erin's back. "Have I mentioned lately that you're amazing? Because I'm pretty sure I should do that more often." Despite his serious tone, the usually stoic teen just couldn't seem to keep a straight face for once, a grin threatening to spread across his face and a slight blackened flush colouring his pale skin.

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After a moment of hesitation, Erin put her hands on his chest, smiling almost reluctantly even as pink crept into her cheeks. "Thanks," she told him. "I should say the same thing about you more often. I guess that's just one more thing that makes us a good team." Her stomach was doing backflips, but in a nice way, weird as that seemed. And he really was starting to fill out nicely, she couldn't help but notice again.

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Trevor could feel his own heartbeat against Erin's hand, gradually accelerating and growing louder in his ears as he looked down at her. It felt surprisingly good to let down his defenses, standing still without being ready to burst into movement. Oddly breathless, he inhaled deeply, close enough to catch faint notes of citrus from her auburn hair. "So, listen," he managed softly, words sticking in his dry mouth, "I'm going to kiss you now, if that's alright."

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Erin would've come up with something clever to say, but looking into his eyes, she sort of forgot how to be clever, and most of everything else as well. "Yeah, okay," she said on a sigh, closing her eyes and leaning in. It was awkward at first with her hands in the way, but she quickly remembered to bring them down and put them on his back instead, which made for a much more satisfying experience. It was strange, she thought, with what parts of her brain were currently working, that even with body and mind thrown into chaos, she couldn't remember ever feeling quite so safe as in Trevor's arms at this moment.

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Closing his own eyes, Trevor's movement at first had a ginger hesitancy to them, but as Erin's hands slid around his sides he threw caution entirely to the wind, instinctively drawing her closer. His mind was blissfully silent, offering no analysis or contingency plans, simply basking in the feeling of warmth that spread over him despite the cool of the garage. It wasn't until his lungs were burning in protest that he broke away with a stuttering inhalation, clearing his throat softly. "...wow," he whispered without loosening his embrace.

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Erin drew in a deep breath as well, though hers was more to try and slow her racing heart than because she needed the oxygen. "Good teamwork," she murmured, with what she was fairly sure was a silly grin on her face. Right at the moment, she didn't mind. If there was ever a time for a little silly happiness, it was right after a kiss like that. "Let's go out," she said suddenly. "We can take the truck. I want to see how fast it goes now." With her system revving the way it was, she had to to let the energy out somehow.

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"Heh," Trevor chuckled softly, a broad grin exposing teeth as he moved one hand from the small of Erin's back to run gently though her hair. "Out, sure." There was a beat, then another before the young man's thoughts actually caught up to each other and he glanced over at the blue pickup. "The truck, right. Should be good to go, yeah." Despite his words, his body seemed reluctant to move from its spot.

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"Good." Erin closed her eyes and sighed for just a moment at the caress, then refocused and headed for the driver's seat of the shiny blue truck. "And none of that at two hundred miles an hour," she reminded him. "I haven't got your driving reflexes." Cheeks still flushed, still grinning, she buckled in and started up the truck, which made a satisfyingly throaty engine noise. "Find us some music," she told him as she headed for the driveway. "And tell me if I'm about to push anything that's going to make us blow up."

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Taking a moment to recompose himself while Erin got into the truck, Trevor straightened his shirt and let out a long, thin breath from the corner of his mouth, carrying with it a stream of midnight mist that shot upward before dissipating in an expanding cloud over his head. Jogging around the front of the vehicle, he slid into the passenger seat and listened with analytical satisfaction to the sound of the engine. Adjusting the radio, he distractedly settled on the first non-talk station.

[groove]22709568[/groove]

"Shockingly, I did not wire my girlfriend's truck to explode," he drawled wryly, before belatedly catching himself, and looking over at Erin. "Ah..."

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Erin looked over at him and quirked an eyebrow, noting his sudden bobble. She rolled the girlfriend-boyfriend idea over in her head a few times, and decided it wasn't too scary to run with for awhile. It was probably unwise, and possibly sinful, to kiss like that with someone who wasn't your boyfriend. "I had every confidence in you," she replied drolly. "Not even my boyfriend gets to blow up my truck without at least asking first. I like this truck." She pulled out into traffic and headed for the edge of town where the interstate opened up.

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Trevor gave the athletic girl a sidelong glance. "Yeah?" The lanky youth settled a little more into the passenger seat, shoulders relaxing slightly as he watched yellow dashes disappear beneath the truck. "...cool." He wasn't usually one to ascribe labels to such things, but it felt surprisingly natural, an obvious progression. Silencing the spiteful, doubting whisper in his head, he let the calming rumble of the engine wash over him instead, the corner of his mouth twitching upward. "I like this truck, too."

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"Still not painting it black," she affirmed. They rode in comfortable silence for awhile, letting the music play. That was one thing she definitely liked about being with Trevor, it was okay to be quiet. She didn't have to fish for words or make awkward conversations to fill the silences between things to say. Right now, the kiss they'd just shared was occupying the forefront of her mind, but she was pretty sure she didn't want to talk about it. Repeat it, probably, but not dissect it. And maybe she was a little uneasy about where things could go from here, but she wasn't going to let that spoil things tonight.

"All right," she finally said, when they were out of the city and facing a clear patch of road. "How does this look? Can I open it up?"

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"May have to start referring to it as 'the Wandermobile'," Trevor warned in the interests of fairness, raising his hands in a helpless shrug. That late in the evening and far from the city center, there was barely any traffic to speak of, as the lean young man checked in the rearview mirror. "One sec." Reaching into the pocket of his jeans, he retrieved the sunglasses he was careful to always have on him when they left the campus and placed them ceremoniously on his face. "Hit it," he instructed in complete deadpan.

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Erin smirked, recognizing the film reference, and hit the button, then let out a surprised yelp and clutched the wheel as the truck suddenly seemed to enter warp space. The lights along the freeway were smears outside the window as they blasted through the night with a roar that came straight from the Indy 500. Erin braked the truck as quickly as she dared, then actually pulled off the road to wait for her heart, which seemed to have been left a half mile or so behind, to catch up with her body. "Holy crap," she gasped, half-laughing. "I think that's a little faster than I can drive. But maybe it'll come in handy sometime."

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