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This one is goofy/fun and takes place about 3 weeks before "I Love You, Man". Why can't Wes and Devin stay like this? Oh yeah, I think it's because Devin is crazypants. Oops.

"We're home! Anyone miss us?" I shout as Brendan and I walk in the door with our groceries.

Devin's already home from work, sprawled out on the couch with his eyes closed, still in his lab coat and all. He must've had a long day, because he doesn't move a muscle as Brendan and I walk inside, or as we bring in our bags either. I don't know how he can sleep through all the racket we're making, but he does. And I want to wake him up to tell him about our idea, but I don't. He just looks so peaceful sleeping there like that.

"There's so much pasta!" I laugh as Brendan and I unpack our bags. "I can't believe you made me get the weird-shaped ones that come in the VacuCylinders. I've never seen anyone actually eat those, and I kinda didn't think anyone did."

"That's because you didn't grow up here." Brendan gives me a bashful grin. "Everyone here eats NoodleBlasters as a kid. It's pretty much a rite of passage. I'm just getting back in touch with my inner child."

"So, d'you think Devin's gonna say yes?" I ask Brendan as we put everything away. "He'll let me take the car anyway, but it'd be way more fun if he came with us - like a double date, only not."

Brendan wrinkles his nose. I kinda think he only invited me because I have a car. And I kinda think he'd rather Devin didn't come with us. The two of them don't really get along, but I keep on thinking they will once they get to know each other better. They've got so much in common and they don't even know it - like the fact that they both like me.

I know Brendan likes me because he comes with me to the grocery store. And I know Devin likes me because he only looks like he's gonna kill me for a minute or two after I walk out to the living room and wake him up. After that, he just looks disoriented - like he doesn't remember how he got where he is.

"Devin, dude!" I know he's half-asleep, but it's really important I tell him everything right now. "Brendan and I had the best idea! We're gonna take Calla out to see the City! We're gonna have a fancy dinner, and tour the Majestic City Tower, and you've gotta come with us because it's gonna be so much fun! We'll dress up and you'll look so pretty and it'll be amazing and are you gonna say yes?"

"Go 'way." Devin blinks at me, then covers his eyes with his arm. "Need sleep."

"I'm only gonna go away if you say yes!" I cry. I know it's annoying, but I can't help myself. The not-date's gonna be awesome and it's been ages since we did anything fun and Devin needs to get out more anyway. He's been working too hard and I worry - he seems so tired all the time. It'll be good for him to loosen up a little for once.

"Yeah, whatever," Devin grumbles. He rolls over and buries his face in the couch, but I know he secretly can't wait for tomorrow. I can't either - I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself! Devin said yes! We're gonna have so much fun.

* * * * *

"Are we there yet?" I ask for the millionth time, and I can't help bouncing up and down in my seat.

"No, Wes. Still not fucking there yet. Only been three fucking minutes since the last time you asked." Devin sounds annoyed, but I know on the inside he's bursting with anticipation like I am. This is gonna be so much fun!

"Have I told you how pretty you look tonight?" I know Devin's driving, but I kinda can't help hugging him anyway. He looks so beautiful in his dark green button-down shirt and fancy black dress pants. I bet his butt looks incredible in those pants, but if I say that in front of everyone he's gonna get mad.

"Wes. Trying to fucking drive, okay?" Devin's tone is grumpy, but he's smiling when I pull away, and the way he's blushing makes me ache inside. "And yeah, you have told me that, 50 fucking times or so."

I can't keep myself from bouncing up and down again as Devin parks the car in front of OtherSide Steakhouse. We haven't eaten out in ages! Sometimes it's really nice to eat a meal I didn't cook. I'm out of the car as soon as it stops, but I hang back to watch Devin walk toward the door.

"I was right - your butt does look incredible in those pants." Oops, did I say that out loud?

Devin holds the door open, muttering something I can't make out. He grabs my butt as I walk through, and I can't help but squeak in surprise. And I can't stop myself from shivering he pulls me close, his breath hot against my ear. "Haven't seen you in dress pants in fucking forever. They make your butt look hot, too."

I think I'm gonna die right here where I'm standing, but I kinda want dinner first. So I let Devin take my arm and lead me inside and I try not to let my knees get weak. We slide into a booth, me and Devin on one side and Brendan and Calla on the other. Calla's gorgeous in her short black dress, and Brendan's maroon silk shirt shows off all his muscles. We all look so good and everyone's grinning and this not-date was the best idea ever!

"Did you guys really eat this back home?" Brendan asks me and Calla and Devin when the ServeBot drops off our Blooming Tentacle Plant. The food at OtherSide Steakhouse is "inspired by the flavors of the Other Side". It's not really like the meals I grew up eating, but I didn't live in your average household, either.

"No one fries tentacle plants back home." Devin's forehead scrunches up and I think he's gonna say something grumpy. Then he shrugs and reaches for a plate. "Still taste fucking good that way, though."

"We don't really eat that much meat back home, either." Calla says. "Not like it matters now, since robots don't eat." She looks kinda sad for a minute, but her eyes start to gleam when she turns to Brendan. "I bet you eat lots of meat, don't you? It must take a lot of protein to keep up all those muscles." She traces the contours of his arm lightly with her finger.

Brendan turns the color of his shirt and stares at his menu. "I do like meat," he mumbles.

"I like meat, too!" My mouth waters as I think about the gargantuan steak I'm gonna order for dinner.

"So do I," Devin whispers as he leans in close.

His hand slides up my thigh, and I think I'm gonna die right here in this booth. I can't help the tiny cry that escapes me, and I almost can't stop my own hand from going somewhere it really shouldn't.

"Get a room, you two!" Calla snorts.

"W- we weren't doing anything!" Devin's face kinda matches Brendan's shirt now, too. "Dropped my fucking napkin." Even blushing, he looks happier than I've seen him in weeks. It's kinda too good to be true, and so is he.

* * * * *

Calla's awestruck when we get out of the car at the Majestic City Tower, and so am I. She's never seen the City at night before, and I'm never gonna get tired of seeing it this way. The buildings shine in the glow of the lights, tall and ethereal and breathtaking. Devin's eyes shine, too, as he reaches for my hand. He's smiling wider than I've seen him do in ages and my chest gets all tight as I remember why I love him. Why I always have and I'll never be able to stop.

"So beautiful," I breathe, and I don't know if I mean him or the City or both.

Devin pays the 80 queems for all of us to go up in the Tower, going a little pale as he does. He never talks about his life before we met, but I know his family didn't have money like mine did. I throw my arms around him and hug him so hard he won't be able to worry.

"Wes. Can't fucking breathe." He's grinning when I pull away, though, so I know it worked.

The attendant straps the four of us into a clear PlastiGlass capsule, and a lasercrane lowers that into this huge power-cannon. It's gonna shoot us all the way to the top, 1000 floors up. I've never done this before, and now that it's time, I'm kinda nervous because I'm afraid of heights. My teeth start to chatter and I can't make them stop.

My fingers intertwine with Devin's again and he turns his face toward mine. "You scared?" he asks.

"Y- yeah." There's a lump in my throat and I've gotta fight to get the words past it.

Devin doesn't even hesitate, unfastening his restraints in one smooth motion. He wraps his long arms around me, so warm and safe and real. He whispers to me, lips brushing my ear. "It'll be fine, Wes. Fucking promise it will, okay? Won't let anything bad happen to you."

I can't stop shivering, but it's not because I'm afraid now.

"Hey! You can't do that in the cannon!" The attendant's back, knocking on the outside of the clear capsule with a look of alarm. His voice sounds distorted through the PlastiGlass, but we can still hear his words well enough. "All guests must remain in their security harnesses at all times. It's for your own safety."

"Don't give a fuck about my safety," Devin grumbles as he puts his harness back on.

I squeeze his hand as the cannon belches and propels us all the way to the top. It's incredible, the rushing sensation and all the lights streaking past us as we go. There's a moment where it feels like forever and then we come to a stop and we're there. It wasn't so scary after all.

"You okay, Wes?" Devin asks.

"Yeah, dude. I'm good now. That was awesome!" I'm kinda giddy as we stumble out onto the roof.

It's full dark now and the City is just a blur of lights. There's an invisible force field around the roof so we can't fall, but it looks like we're just standing out here in the open. I can't see all the way down in the dark, so I'm not frightened. That doesn't stop me from grabbing onto Devin like I'm never gonna let go.

"Won't let you fall, Wes," he whispers, and now I'm trembling again for real.

"Look how pretty!" Calla marvels.

"Nowhere near as lovely as you," Brendan rumbles.

This roof is so romantic! I knew this not-date was gonna be the best idea ever, and it is. Devin's got one arm wrapped around me as we start the NeuroView tour. It's a simulation, letting us fly past pretend buildings with the feel of fake air rushing over our faces. I'm not afraid at all because the City's so beautiful and the look on Devin's face is, too.

We're all laughing as we stagger back to the car after. We've had so much fun! It's late now, though, and I'm yawning so hard I think my face is gonna crack. When we get to the car, I curl myself up against the window, my eyes slipping closed before we're even underway.

"Wes. Wake up."

My eyes open as I feel the warm puffs of Devin's breath in my ear. Are we home? I must have fallen asleep on the ride back. "Nuh uh. Just gonna sleep here, 'kay?" I mumble. The car window's cool and hard, but I snuggle against it anyway.

"Wes. Can't sleep in the fucking car." Devin cups my face in his hands, turning it toward him. Then his lips are on mine as his body presses against me and he's so warm and heavy and I'm not sleepy in the least now because my heart's pounding too hard for that.

"Wh- what're you doing?" I gasp out when he finally pulls away. "You just - " I can't even form words.

"Not doing anything, Wes." Devin wraps his arms around me and rests his head on my shoulder, and I think I hear him sigh. "Think you're fucking dreaming. Better wake up now and come inside, okay?"

I stand and let him lead me into the house. If it's a dream, I don't want to wake up. Not ever.

Date: 2012-12-09 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alien-writings.livejournal.com
Haha, NoodleBlasters! Brendan, you amuse with your taste for funny-shaped kiddie pasta.

This whole story was cute and fun, and I'm glad you went there with the ""Hey! You can't do that in the cannon!" thing. It was funny. :)

It really is too bad they can't stay so cute and happy, isn't it?

Also, I noticed how Kalen is so very much Not Part of This, haha. He deserves it, the jerkass.

Date: 2012-12-09 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
Brendan's getting in touch with his inner child, okay? It's probably Wes's influence, even though Wes doesn't understand NoodleBlasters.

Thanks! That "cannon" line worked out better than I expected it to, so I'm glad I did, too. And yeah, I really wish they could stay like this, but the next story in the timeline is "I Love You, Man" and Devin's already starting to crack here (note the random sleeping) and ugh, crazypants. :\

Kalen can't go out in public! He's a known terrorist. And no, dude. Devin's the Jerkass, even if he's really a Jerkass Woobie. ;-)

Date: 2012-12-09 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theun4givables.livejournal.com

Wes!voice is kinda tiring to read at times but I love that you used him as the POV character for this. Because his attention on Devin during the not-date and the fact that he just is so in love with that crazypants comes through so well in this.

Too bad Devin couldn't own up to the fact that he kissed Wes, though. Why're you gonna deny that, you little shit. Wes isn't like you. He's definitely awake enough to remember that lololol.

Date: 2012-12-09 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] n3m3sis43.livejournal.com
Awww, they are killing me too. Whyyyyy? <3

Wes!voice is kinda tiring to write, too. I'm pretty sure this will need edits later to improve the writing quality and make it a little less tiring but for now I am too busy racing for the finish line to care. Maybe when the time comes, you can help me figure out how?

Devin is dumb. He doesn't get that Wes wakes up a lot better than he does and would totally know he was full of shit. Either that, or he knows and doesn't care but he just can't bring himself to come out and say it. It could really go either way with him. Fucking crazypants.


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