The love Brendon and Alice share...forever? And Sarah's mysterious past is unraveled...
Chapter 9: Love Is In The Air...
The weeks turned to months, and months into another year. Alice and Brendon found things out about one another that they would have never dreamt of learning about. (Family dilemmas, more nonsense, each other's social lives, their enemies, their allies, etc...)
Alice was studying to become a lawyer, and since she was still in college, she only managed to make time with Brendon when finals weren't rolling around. College did have its advantages, however-including the long breaks (all of January off!) and such. No-one was complaining about Alice and Brendon's relationship-It kept Brendon grounded and calmer, and Alice...well, just stayed as Alice. (Big coincidence, right?)
Despite all the obstacles Alice and Brendon had in their relationship (band commitments, school commitments, family commitments...etc.) they had somehow managed to overcome each of them. They did have their times though, especially that one time when Alice was PMSing, and Brendon was ignorant of the female mind and they took a break for a month (which put both of them into more despair, but they had felt they needed it, so...) in which the band and Alice's friends would drive themselves insane because Brendon wouldn't be around to keep Alice sane, and so forth.
So, naturally, they were both still together the day before Valentine's Day rolled around. Alice was going to turn twenty that year (in September, like most of the band with the exception of Brendon), and Brendon would be turning twenty-one in April. Since Panic!'s new album was released the previous month (in January) Ryan was planning on their next tour around the world.
"Ry, have you got anything for your girlfriend yet?" Brendon asked as the two were shopping around for presents. After all, a guy needed to get a present for his girl...especially for Valentine's Day. Ryan sighed, and scratched the back of his neck. "No...I haven't found the perfect one..."
Brendon rolled his eyes at his friend. "Dude, just get her something. I've already gotten something for Alice like two months ago."
"Yeah, that's cuz you always get things on impulse-to you, it doesn't matter what the price is, what the quality is, what-" Ryan said, very much frustrated, until he picked up a very pretty necklace with a piece of jade hanging off of it. It was, in a few words, very simplistic, but beautiful.
"I never care what the price is. You shouldn't either. Look at all those big bucks in your piggy bank, man." Brendon told Ryan, picking up a very pretty glass box. When he noticed that Ryan didn't answer him, he turned around to see what he was doing. "Oh, that's pretty. Get her that." Brendon said off-handedly before returning to his glass box.
"I think I'll get it for her. It's beautiful." Ryan muttered softly, inspecting the jade a little more carefully. Brendon stared at his glass box. It was a beautiful one, studded with diamonds on each corner-it was obviously a jewelry box. "I'm gonna get this for Alice." Brendon said decisively, before walking up to the counter. Ryan frowned, and turned around to follow Brendon. "Dude, I thought you said you already got Alice something..."
Brendon whirled around, grinning. "Yeah, actually, I've already gotten her five things...this would be the sixth." Ryan's eyes popped out of its sockets-literally.
"Holy shit, you really did mean it when you said you didn't care about the price!"
"Yeah, but all of them resembled Alice in different ways...I had to get all of 'em." Brendon shrugged, paying the man at the cash register. "Would you like this wrapped, mister?" The man asked kindly, waving a sheet of delicate rice paper at him. Brendon was soon brought back to attention, nodding, "Yeah, that'd be great, man."
Ryan chuckled. "Jesus Christ, Urie. I never knew you would go on a splurge just for a girl..."
"She's not just a girl. She's my girl." Brendon whispered under his breath, tucking the present under his arm. "C'mon, hurry up and pay and we'll get back to the apartment."
"I still have to get mine wrapped," Ryan laughed as Brendon walked out the door.
"So...Have you gotten anything for Brendon yet?" Sarah asked, as if the subject didn't really matter. (But of course, it did...)
"Not really..." Alice growled, retying her hair into a bun. "I've been so busy with this terminology paper...It's fucking psycho, I swear to god..."
"Stop pulling your hair out!...Jesus Christ Ali..." Sarah looked at her friend incredulously. For the past month, Alice had been-literally-destroying herself. She hadn't seen much of Brendon-although Brendon didn't seem to notice too much because whenever he came over, Alice would have a shower and make-up like nothing was ever wrong-but studying too much was doing Alice no good.
"Come on, I gotta go out to buy something for Harry anyways." Sarah pleaded, pulling on Alice's blouse. Alice sighed. "Okay, just lemme get my purse and money, and I'll be out in five minutes."
"I'll wait outside." Sarah told her friend to the side as she made her way to the front door. Alice nodded.
Five minutes passed. Ten minutes... "ALICE YOU FUCKING LIAR, GET OUT HERE NOW!!" Sarah screamed into the apartment. Alice jumped about half a foot, and ran to the door. There was no lying to Sarah-it wouldn't get past her anyways.
The two went to shop for cards first in Papyrus. By the time they got out of the shop, an hour had passed and Sarah selected a very cutsie card that Alice wasn't sure that Harry would like. (But Sarah insisted it was because she was a girl and Harry was a guy and that Harry would understand...Alice went, 'yeah, right, Sarah...')
Alice, on the other hand, appeared with a huge five-foot-tall card. Sarah looked at her friend, wide-eyed. "Are you completely insane?!" Sarah asked, looking at the huge card with a teddy bear pasted on it, googly eyes, fuzz, and all.
"It's the sort of thing Brendon would want, trust me," Alice laughed, lugging the card back to the car. Sarah shook her head, but chuckled anyways.
"So what's the other half of your present, Ali?" Sarah asked as they drove to another shopping mall. Alice shrugged. "I really don't know yet. But I've been thinking..."
"Oh, no...that's not a good sign..." Sarah murmured as they walked past a few shop windows. Finally, they entered a pretty cool gadget-looking store, stocked with accessories for iPods, cars, etc...basically, things guys really want. "What's not a good sign?" Alice asked later when Sarah bought a box of tools for her boyfriend to fix up his car. (Nice Valentines gift, huh?)
"It's not a good sign when you say that 'you've been thinking'. Come on, something's up. You've been acting frustrated, depressed, and...I don't know what else, but it's not only over that terminology paper." Sarah said slowly. Alice was quiet for awhile. "Well?" Sarah asked, looking at her friend impatiently.
"I--...I..." Alice stammered, and when she pulled out the keys from her bag to unlock the car, something else fell out. Pills? Sarah thought curiously, picking up the packet for her friend.
"Alice. You're seriously not--?"
"Sarah, we've been going out for a year. We-we...we both want it. I know I do, at least...I bet Brendon does even more..." Alice said shyly, a blush rising in the apples of her cheeks. Sarah's face turned red as well as an old geezer walked by, watching Sarah hold the pills.
"Alice, when'd you get those birth control pills? You haven't been out of the apartment for the last month, unless it was with me..."
"I got it from a friend. He mailed it to me."
"Who's this special friend of yours, huh?" Sarah asked, trying not to sound so pushy. They both got into the car, and started to drive on the highway.
"You don't know him. Friend of my cousin's that I confide in a lot, I guess." Alice said, trying to not make the whole thing such a big deal. Silence and awkwardness filled the car. Finally, Sarah broke it. "Hey, Ali...I just want you to know...giving up your virginity is something that you should never regret. J-just make sure...that it's the right guy..."
"Do you? I speak from experience. And let me tell you hon, there's no turning back the clock once you've already done it."
"I thought you said that you're a virgin, Sarah."
"Wait, so you were lying?" Alice asked, turning to her friend suspiciously. If she's lied about this, how many other stuff has she lied about? She's been lying to me a lot lately!
"But, hold on-"
"It's not fair to lie, and especially since we're room mates..." Alice trailed off, suddenly sounding very accusing.
"Yeah, well, I LIED. Does that make you feel better?!" Sarah yelled, just as she pulled the car to a stop. They were outside their apartment. "Get out." Sarah stated coldly. Alice, looking at her friend with a sense of uncertainty, didn't say or do anything.
"Alice, I told you to get the hell out."
Alice stumbled out of the car as Sarah drove off. She didn't know where Sarah was going, or what was going to happen to the both of them-as room mates-now, but she went inside anyways.
It was dinner...and Sarah still hadn't come back. Alice was concerned for her friend. But as soon as she thought about calling her-
Slam. So she came home after all.
Alice had thought about their conversation. It wasn't her right to snub into other people's business-even if this girl was her best friend, best friends had a reason to lie sometimes. Maybe her past pains her... Alice told herself as she walked into the next room. Sarah was on the couch. As she looked up, Alice could see the makeup smeared across her face. Sarah's eyes were red. Alice had never seen Sarah in such a state before.
"Sarah...I'm really sorry for earlier, I had no reason to snub into your business-"
"No..." Sarah moaned, getting up slowly.
But Alice just kept talking, not really listening to what Sarah was saying. "I'm serious. I can't just go around prodding into your past like that. It was pretty awful of me. Let's make a cup of tea and forget about all that just happened."
But just then, Sarah said forcefully, "Just let me talk, Alice." Finally, Alice quit talking. "I should have told you a really long time ago...
"That when I was eight years old, I ran away from home. I don't really remember why...maybe the drugs had some sort of impact on my memory..."
"Whoa, drugs?" Alice asked, sitting on the couch next to Sarah, listening like a kid to a bedtime story. (Of course, though, this wasn't really a bedtime story...)
"Yeah, drugs. For a year and a half I hung out near the worst parts of SF. Don't look at me like that, Alice...it really is true. I then became...became..." Sarah took a deep breath. "You promise you'll understand? Alice?"
"Of-of course." Alice said quickly. "Just keep talking, I'm here to listen."
Sarah nodded, and kept talking. "I became a prostitute, for lack of a better word." It took all of Alice's willpower not to let her jaw drop, or say something excruciatingly hateful./ A prostitute? Why?/
"I know what you're thinking. I basically didn't have anywhere to go, my life was down in the dumps, and I was taking more than three types of drugs. I lost my virginity to a guy...a guy I thought who loved me. But then I learned that being a prostitute, you couldn't fall in love. So I pushed him away."
"But what happened after that, Sarah? How'd you get here?" Alice asked quietly, wrapping an arm around her friend.
"I was eventually hospitalized by someone who brought me...well to the hospital. I was sixteen by then. The staff did me a favor and placed me in the hands of a foster family. Apparently I was a quick learner, because here I am, in college, studying to become a businesswoman." Sarah looked up, and smiled.
Alice beamed. "I'm really...proud of you." She said, her bottom lip quivering as she leaped forward to hug her friend.
The two girls hugged each other for what seemed to be an eternity.
"Get off of me. You need to get ready for Brendon. You're still going out with him to dinner, right?" Sarah asked, searching Alice's eyes for an answer. Alice shook her head. "No, we're gonna have a dinner to ourselves. After all that you just told me, we totally need a mini celebration." With that, Alice picked up her phone and speed-dialed her boyfriend. Sarah cocked her head to the side. "No, Ali, don't cancel your date just for me." When Alice didn't listen, Sarah grabbed the phone from Alice, but it was too late.
"Hello?" A deep voice resonated from the earpiece. When Sarah didn't answer (because she was now holding the phone, trying to decide what to say!) Brendon asked a bit more forcefully, "Who is this?"
Alice rolled her eyes and snatched the phone back. "It's me, Brendon. Don't you ever check caller ID before you pick up?"
"Obviously not." Alice giggled. Brendon, on the other side of the line, laughed a bit too. "What's up?" Brendon finally asked, after the laughing was over.
"Sorry, I need to cancel out on our dinner tonight...I have a friend who needs me right now." Alice told Brendon, hoping that it was explanatory enough. Brendon didn't say anything. "But tomorrow's Valentines day..."
Sarah, who could hear the whole conversation, whispered to Alice: "JUST LEAVE! Don't cancel your date!" Alice turned her back on Sarah, and kept talking to Brendon. "So we'll spend the whole day with each other tomorrow. Please, baby? She really needs me..."
Jon was overhearing Brendon's conversation with Alice in the band's apartment. "Come on, man, give her space." Jon told him loudly. Alice heard from her end of the phone, and just laughed.
Brendon narrowed his eyes at Jon. "Jon, shuddup. I can talk to my girlfriend by myself..."
"Or can you?" Jon asked coyly, wiggling his eyebrows. Alice just kept laughing into her cell phone.
"Okay, okay...You win this time." Brendon growled at Alice on his cell phone. "But if you don't spend the whole day with me tomorrow, I'm going to capture you for ransom."
"Oh dear. I might have to call the police on you, Brendon. What're you gonna do? Strangle me?" Alice asked sarcastically, but still with a light tone in her voice. Brendon shook his head with amusement. "No, Alice, I'll come over and rape you. Kidding. Just have a good night tonight and I'll see you tomorrow."
This time, both Sarah and Alice laughed. Sarah crooned, "Maybe Brendon will have to run away-I think you're going to be doing the raping, Ali!" Alice was laughing so hard, she started crying. But she told Sarah 'shh' as to not give away the surprise for Brendon the very next day.
"What was that? Did I hear something about you raping me?" Brendon asked, plugging in his other hear to drown out Jon's ridiculous laughing.
"No...you didn't. But I'll see you tomorrow. Love you." Alice said quickly. Brendon chuckled. "Okay, take care. Love you. Bye."
Sarah screamed, "GIRLS NIGHT! I get the popcorn from Blockbusters!"
"I get to pick the DVDs though!" Alice said persistently.
"Deal. We've got an hour to move the couch, set up the DVDs, and buy stuffed animals. Ready? Go." Sarah said quickly.
Both girls ran out the door wildly.
After all, what was girl's night all about?
A/N: Wow...I had a lot of fun writing this chapter...it was really interesting building Sarah's character. :]