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One Way or Another

One Way or Another

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Seven college students have just completed their first year in college. As their reward for making it through the year, they have saved up during their last semester so they could take a road trip to see their favorite band on tour.

607 readers have visited One Way or Another since Starbuck created it.

Introduction

One Way Or Another.
[Unless you have received a PM from Starbuck, please do not submit a character.]



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Starstruck. They started as just another local garage band in New York City, but eventually the members of the band found a much larger audience by embracing a blend of alternative rock and power pop to their sound. Soon after, their music targeted listeners by the heart as well as the head. The band’s influence has widened considerably after their latest album and first major studio release, Catch Me If U Can, and they just recently announced their first headlining tour that will take them to some of the most popular cities around the United States.

Seven college students have just completed their first year in college at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. As their reward for making it through the year, they have saved up during their last semester so they could take a road trip together to follow Starstruck on tour.

While these friends have made it through a challenging year of school work, roommate drama, fraternity parties and finals, nothing tests relationships more than when you’re in an 8-seater van with nowhere to escape or have a private moment to yourself. It’s no surprise that the road may get the best of some causing them to call it quits and head home. Tensions are sure to rise and tempers will flare, but if they can all keep it together and survive a summer full of more challenges and good times, everything they’ve worked so hard for will pay off.

One way or another, it will be a trip to remember.

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“Ash, are you sure you packed everything? Spare flashlight? Water? Tickets? What about your cell phone charger? I want you to be able to call me if something happens on the road…”

There was no question where Ashley got her obsessive qualities from. Her dad was probably worse than her at times, if that was even imaginable, but he was only going over a list that Ashley had gone over in her head three times before breakfast. “I got it, dad.” Ashley cut him off with her reply, sighing as any daughter would when their parent was doubting them, though she knew he was just looking out for her. She had three months to plan for this trip, so there should be no surprise that Ashley Sullivan had plenty of time to lay out as much preparation as she could. In the trunk of the van, she already had her bag, tent, some food, and a sleeping bag if the time called for camping, which would be a cheaper alternative than staying at a hotel.

Ashley had managed to talk her parents into letting her and a few friends from school borrow the family’s Dodge minivan, and as soon as they had a vehicle, all the plans for this summer’s trip were laid out. Finding friends wasn’t the hard part, considering anyone with a good taste in music would gladly jump on board the idea of seeing Starstruck on tour and taking on the open road with friends. The hard part was finding friends with money who could afford the food, gas, lodging, and concert tickets. But that was doable with a few months to prepare and save, and Ashley didn’t suspect that anyone would be backing out now. Classes at Met U were official over until fall, and Starstruck’s first concert was tonight, in St. Louis, Missouri. It was a ten hour drive if they could avoid traffic. And if they were early, well, of course Ashley had already planned on maybe making a stop in Mall of America if everything went according to plan and ran on time.

“Tell mom I’ll text her tonight before the concert. And tomorrow morning.” She promised, knowing her father would at least feel better about letting his eldest daughter and family vehicle go halfway across the country if she could ease his mind a little. Standing on the tip of her toes to give her dad a hug, Ashley endured a few more seconds of last-minute reminders from him before she was behind the wheel, and free at last! It was hard not to smile once she was on the road driving toward the University. The windows were down, and the sun was just coming up from over the trees.

Ashley had told everyone to meet her on campus at 8 a.m., but to no surprise of anyone, she pulled into the parking lot right at 7:28, eager to get this trip started. No one else was there yet, so while she waited, Ashley hummed to an old song on the radio while opening a map that she had already looked over dozens of times. Certain routes were highlighted in different colors, which only Ashley would really understand, or at least care to. It probably wouldn't take too long for someone else to take over driving, especially after enduring Ashley's strict policy in obeying all traffic laws, especially speeding. She was aware she could be a bit over the top sometimes, and even a little obsessive, but someone would have to be, right? Especially while in the company of the many different personalities that would be in this 8-seater van all summer.

She did, however, promise herself that she would at least try to let loose, have fun, be more easygoing, and let the little things go...but only time would tell just how long she could actually stick to that. How did the saying go, again? Old habits die hard.

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"So your still planning on going on that stupid trip with your friends huh? Even though this time between classes could be spent studying and doing something constructive? This is why you really piss me off sometimes Theresa, you have no real set goals in life do you? Now get the fuck out of here before I get really mad."
Tessa let out a long sigh and then jumped up in surprise when her father slammed his bedroom door in her face. "Love you too Dad.."Tessa muttered underneath her breath and shaking her head, her long blonde hair moving back and forth in a smooth motion. This trip had caused an even bigger rift between her father and herself, mostly because he disliked anything she did that wasn't school related. Tessa liked Starstruck and when Ashley mentioned the group going together to watch them, Tessa decided getting to see one of her favorite bands and leaving her father was practically a miracle.

She had already the day before yesterday all of the essentials. Clothes,iPod, toothbrush, and most importantly...candy. She had a whole purse filled with nothing but suckers and assorted hard candies. Her friends knew her obsession with suckers and other candies, so she figured no one would have any issue with it.Tessa walked to her room and plucked her bag of goodies and large Nike bag filled with clothes and her straightener and headed out her front door.

~~~~~~

Thankfully she did not live far from the campus.It only took around ten or fifteen minutes of running before a very flushed looking Tessa was standing looking for where Ashely would be parked with the mini van. Tessa lifted up her left arm and glanced at the large white and black watch her Dad had bought for her when she was ten."7:35 huh? Supposed to be here at eight...maybe Ashley's not here yet?" Tessa turned her head and then smiled slightly. Of course Ashely was here earlier then she said they all should be. Ashley was never late, so why did Tessa expect her to be now? She merely shook her head and continued smiling as she made her way over towards the drivers window and tapped the glass."Heya ! Nice to see you early as usual haha! I'm gonna put my bag in the trunk alright? Then I'll come in and join you." She gave a small salute before spinning on her heel, and moving to put her bags inside the van's trunk. Of course she only put her clothes bag inside, keeping her candy filled purse (which also had her phone and iPod) with her as well.

She slid open the right sliding door to the van and hopped inside."Finally! I hope everyone gets their butt's here already so we can get this show on the road."

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"Hey Beau!" A female's voice erupted from behind the young adults door, making him just slightly as he shoved a large freezer lock back into his backpack, the sounds of glass tapping against each other. "Yeah ma?" He said, nothing on his body moving aside from his chest from breathing a little hard from the scare. "Just making sure you were up, didn't want you to miss your trip." Beau's mom walked from the hallway near his room, making Beau let loose a relieved sigh, "Close..." He said to himself, looking around him for a moment before grabbing a pocket knife and the essentials which were never out of reach when Beau went out for long. Cell Phone, Wallet, Zune, keys, and a lighter. He stood up and walked around the camouflaged tent and blue sleeping bag. He slung them both over his shoulder and went to the door, opening it up and attempting to walk through it. His first attempt was thwarted, sitting there for a second with what looked to be a smirk on his face, taking a step back and pushing himself through the door forcefully.

The mess of a human being shut the door to his room, the house having shifted so it was a little more difficult than it had been about two days ago. "Alright, I'm about to leave." He stated, coming out of the hallway with all of his junk in hand.
"Do you have everything...?"
"Yes mom..."
"What?"
"Huh?"
"What did you say?"
"What?"
"Oh shut up..."
Beau grinned as he turned the corner and saw his mom making breakfast for her and his dad, "Love you mom, I'll see you a week or so before classes start up again." He turned the corner and gave a bored "Yes..." as his mom asked if he did have everything yet again. He was about to the door with his hand on the lock before he heard another voice coming from his parents room, "Yeah?" He dropped his sleeping bag and tent on the floor as he walked into the room, his dad up in his dresser reaching through a few pairs of clothes and pulling out some money. "Here, this is your pay for the last month." Beau raised an eye brow, so he wasn't working for charity after all.

Beau took the money after his dad held it out to him, sliding it in his left hand. Five one hundred dollar bills. "Er, uh..." He said, not looking directly at his dad who was clad in nothing but a pair of boxers, something which had stayed the same since Beau could remember. "Thanks..." He said, glancing at his Dad and turning in the room to walk off, "Be careful and don't do anything stupid..." His Dad's voice was loud at first then tapered off, Beau nodding, "Yeah I got it." With that, he walked back to the front door and grabbed his things, tossing the tent and his sleeping bag outside as he worked with the screen door.

A stupid grin showed up on his face as he walked out to his truck, a '95 Chevy Z71, the body looking like it had been through better times with the hood being nothing but straight black primer. He tossed some of his things into the bed of the truck and his backpack in the passenger seat, putting his Zune into the AUX jack and cranking up his music. He thumbed through the artists and paused when he came to Kid Cudi, grinning slightly before tapping the play symbol next to the name. He grinned slightly as one of his favorite songs started the playlist off, "This is starting off right..." he mumbled to himself, sitting up in the drivers seat. His hands tapped against the steering wheel, his voice right in line with the song.

Now when the sun come up
i'll be there to say what up in the morning
brush my teeth, find that clip I've been lookin' for since last night
i feel so caught up in the bud
i float somehow in my bedroom turn around see myself in the mirror
I guess I'm cool and
those happy thoughts, in my head, I'm feeling like I'm peter pan minus the tights and the fairies happy to see how far I've come to the same place it began my dreams and imagination perfectly at peace so I move along a bit higher


He continued on with the rest of the song, though that would be the only one which he'd go solo on... Especially when the people in the cars next to you would stare and you'd have to politely stare back at them like you're some kind of crazed druggie.

It wasn't about ten minutes and he was at the parking lot they had been told to meet at, not fully realizing he had parked just a few spaces down from Ashley, not even noticing Tessa getting in the damn door. He slouched down into his seat and pulled a glass pipe from his backpack and opening the freezer bag from earlier. Within seconds the entire cab of his truck smelt like the inside of a fruity pebbles box, "God damn son..." He said to himself, grabbing a small nugget and tearing it up into the bowl and grabbing the purple Bic from his pocket. He stared at the bowl for a second before he flicked the flint wheel and lit the gas. He tried to take a small hit though that didn't happen, his lungs filling up with smoke a little quicker than he would have preferred. His eyes got big for a second and his face scrunched together, his lungs crying even more than his own eyes. He tried to let the smoke out nicely though that worked for about half a second. He sat up a little and started hacking like a mad man, "Ho-ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-ly SHIT!" He let out, coughing even more before he could grab hold of himself. He rolled the window down to his truck a little, blowing the bowl out and accidentally landing directly into the car next to him, the wind having caught it perfectly and drawn it through the cracked window. He cussed and threw his pipe back into his bag, making sure to seal the freezer bag up tightly so he wouldn't smell like a walking dispensary from California.

He got out of his truck and brushed himself off, his persona drawn out quite nicely in his pair of athletic shorts, flip flops, and school t-shirt. He reached in and grabbed his ten dollar pair of sunglasses as well as his backpack. Beau slung his backpack over his shoulder as he went to close his door, locking it from the outside. He took a few steps to the back of his truck to grab his tent and sleeping bag. He figured Ashley would be there out of anyone by now... He began to walk, unknowingly, in the direction of the van, not paying much attention. He pulled out his phone to text her though caught himself, stopping in mid stride. His head turned and glanced at a side view mirror, looking straight at Ashley. "Fuck me, right?" He said to himself, closing the message he had just pulled up and slipping his blackberry back into his pocket. According to his truck, before he got out, it was 7:39, about twenty minutes early from what he remembered. He tapped his knuckles on the side of the sliding door, popping the door open slowly and looking from Ashley to Tessa, "Good Morning Ladies..." He said with a faint grin on his face. He paused for a second before going all the way to the back of the van, dropping into the seat and putting his tent and sleeping bag directly behind him with the other things which had already compiled there. He stuck his backpack in between his legs, full of clothes to the point you couldn't fit much else in there. He found himself pushing his back into the corner, his right knee coming up and laying in the middle, his foot dangling off of what he presumed would be his side of the seat. He let out a breath before reaching up to grab his glasses, hesitating for a second before deciding to leave them on, knowing good and well his eyes were caked right now. "Er, so yeah..." He started, "Have either of you heard from anyone else this morning...?" Beau wasn't one for silence when it could be changed without much trouble.

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The sun was only just turning the sky pink and orange. Evan had been awake, packed, and ready since 3:00 A.M. His night had been filled with the dragging kind of insomnia that only anticipation can bring; the sleeplessness that holds your eyes to the clock and forces you to watch every minute tick by. He had felt this way before- his eyes heavy yet defiantly unwilling to close- but this was one of the few times it was excitement that kept him awake. Rather than waste time trying to coerce his mind into letting him sleep, he got up early, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, checked his bags, unpacked them, re-packed them, ate Frosted Flakes, updated his iPod, unpacked and re-packed again, showered, dressed... and then tried to find a way to kill four and a half hours.

But finally, finally the sun was rising and he could begin his walk to new. Everything was new now. The summer smelled new, the shine of dew on the grass, the colors the sun burned into the sky- everything was irrevocably splendid and new. Even with his heavy bags strapped onto his shoulder, Evan was lighter than ever. An escape from college and parents... and with friends no less! He couldn't help but smile as he half-skipped down the road.

His cargo shorts's large pockets sagged from the weight of their contents. To maintain his quick pace in comfort, he removed the small jar of peanut butter and spoon from his left pocket and moved his iPod to the jar's former spot, leaving his cell phone and wallet on the right side. He opened the jar and ate a bit as he approached the University.

Jar in hand, mouth full of peanut butter, he mumbled something unintelligible at the people in the van as he swung open the door. He threw his bags in the back and got into the van next to Beau, sliding over far, pushing into Beau's knee with his own and sitting as though the van were already full to its limit. He smiled at everyone between a scoop of Jiffy, comfortable, eager, and feeling absolutely new.

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#, as written by Jag
There weren’t many places that AJ wanted to be at in the morning on that his bed or the bed of a select few others. If he were to make a list of those places, campus grounds wouldn’t be on the list. Still, there he was all the same as he climbed out of the car and threw a backpack over his shoulder while lugging another back from the trunk. Nevertheless, he was there and embarking on what his father had declared to be the dumbest and most pointless summer in the history of man and especially the Durham family. Up until the night before the trip, his father had made his case over the phone for an internship at just about any D.C. office the boy could have picked. You can never stop thinking about your future. This is where connections are made that will set you up for the rest of your life.

Damn straight, AJ had thought at the time – exactly why he was heading off on the whirlwind trip around the country with an unlikely group of people. Still, these were the connections that he wanted to make this summer rather than political ties in offices that would see him delivering coffee and taking notes on meetings between chairmen of House subcommittees. Truth be told AJ also had a few other short and intense connections in mind for the summer, but that was his own game for now.

“Keys,” he said, holding his hand out to Ashley with only the smallest hint of a smile. Talk about a way to make your point in the morning. “Hand ‘em over, chica.” The smile began to break a little more, but the demand was anything but joking.

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Gretchen simply wasn't Gretchen without preparedness. A maroon duffel bag and an extra knapsack for her even more personal belongings were packed just two days before and she had nothing more to do now but to wait until the day she was going to travel with several of her friends. It was as if the day she'd agreed to this was the same time some weight had been lifted off her shoulders. The break from the consistent (and admittedly self-inflicted) hustle and bustle of life was going to do good for her, her seanmháthair had told her time and again. This time, she didn't take it negatively at all. It was as if for the first time in her entire life, she didn't hear her consistently nagging anymore. For the first time in her entire experience with her grandmother's oftentimes rude and brash honesty and perpetual nagging, Gretchen seemed to agree.

It was six thirty in the morning and she simply stared out the window, waiting for time to pass by with a surreal mix of patience and impatience. Her parents and grandmother were having breakfast downstairs in their usual manner, the mix of Gaeilge and English filling the dining area. She wanted to lay down on the ground and listen to their incoherent chatter, as if to see if they were talking about her or not. She pulled away, sweeping her straight black hair to one side, revealing part of her exposed cream skin. The only color that adorned her apparel that day was a chartreuse jacket easily recognizable by anyone who knew Eric Sheridan. It was one of the many things he'd left her when he'd left her... Forever. She clung onto the fabric and sniffed it. Each day, she never failed to spray his favorite cheap cologne on it, and each day she'd laugh at the memories they'd spent together when they'd first bought it. She winced in pain as the warmest of memories seemed to have driven a stake straight through her heart, then pulled it out only to stab again. Just before that last stab of hurt racked through her, she looked down at where a bump should've been obvious and she clutched to it. The next stab. The next sob threatening to just escape from her throat. She was careful not to cry; she didn't want to ruin her makeup.

She immediately rose and put her bags promptly on the bed to go have breakfast, and as soon as that first step she took on the stairs, a recognizable, hoarse female voice came from downstairs. "Gretchen, bricfeasta," said the voice. "It's going to get cold."
"Coming!" she replied promptly, rolling her eyes as she jogged down the stairs. She saw not three, but four people in the room. The other face was of her older brother, Eoin, who in her opinion ate like a swine as he tucked in a helping of scrambled eggs and toast. "Would you like me to get you a trough, Eoin? I'm sure there's something we can use in the tool shed," she sneered. She sat herself down next to him, much to her displeasure as that was the only available seat at the table that time.
"Gretchen, please. We're having a family meal," her father quickly admonished.
"Yes, dad," she said, almost as if what she'd really heard him say was "shut up".

The next ten minutes were spent eating, and interlaced with it were another fifteen minutes of chatter. Eoin started yet another crazy banter storm during breakfast and in between sips of orange juice, her parents had been talking to her about her course and how they'd seen her stellar performance, and her grandmother practically content with herself as she watched her granddaughter take her advice for once in her life. Her family was an organized chaos, but one that she loved nonetheless. Before she had time to realize it, she looked at the time and saw it was seven forty. "OH SHI-- I mean, sorry," she hesitated, seeing the nasty glances her parents and grandmother gave her. Immediately, she tugged on Eoin's shirt and pulled him upstairs. "Come on, brush your teeth, do whatever, you're sending me back to the college, I've got somewhere to go with friends."
"With friends?" Eoin laughed as he straightened himself out after she'd let go on the landing. "Are you serious? You've got friends? He-hey! Jesus, you take things too seriously! It's a miracle you're actually taking time to talk to people."
"Shut up and move. It's a fifteen minute drive and I have to be there by eight. EIGHT O' FUCKING CLOCK."

Arriving on campus with all her things prepared, even down to her shoes, she gave her brother a sneer in thanks, and him a laugh and a cheek kiss in return, which she reluctantly but was kind of glad to receive from him before she turned in the direction of the car. Seven fifty seven. She'd never been this late before. What made her so late eluded her completely; all that mattered to her now was that she was nearing the van and they weren't gone yet. Thank. God.

"Hi guys," she said, trying to be friendly this time around to try and change her image. It couldn't have come at a more early, awkward time. "Ready to go, then?"

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Ashley was both surprised and relieved that Tessa had arrived first. She was early, and to be honest, Ashley had been silently wondering if she should have told everyone to get here at 7am, just to assure they’d actually arrive on time. She had already made a bet with herself that Beau would be the last to arrive, and late. But that surfer-looking boy proved her wrong by showing up second, and dumping his bags into the trunk.

“No, no one’s called me this morning,” Ashley answered Beau’s question, glancing back at him through the rearview mirror while she folded the map back up neatly in the same creases that they had already been folded in. “So, I think it’s safe to say everyone’s still coming.” With a nod, Ashley leaned over and tucked the map into the glove box, hoping to not have to use it for a while. Her whole life she had grown up in this area and she knew most of the major highways out of here. So if she couldn’t find her way to St. Louis, only nine hours away, this whole road trip would be doomed from the start.

Opening her side door, Ashley stepped out of the van, knowing that the trunk was probably a disaster after Beau had stuffed his bag and tent back there, and especially seeing Evan had arrived as well, throwing his bag into the mix. “Sure, just throw it in,” Ashley mumbled under her breath from behind the van as she shifted and moved some of their bags around. She smiled as she felt Tessa’s bag, which was heavier than all of them. Candy, mostly. She guessed.

”Keys, A familiar voice spoke out, and Ashley spun around to look back at AJ, his palm raised expectantly. At first, Ashley could only look back at him with a raised brow in confusion, until it was finally clear to her that he intended to drive. Ashley laughed loudly, as if the thought of AJ Durham driving her family’s minivan was the most ridiculous idea in the world. And it was. When she saw that he was serious, Ashley swallowed hard and slowly shook her head. He didn’t need to know that the keys were still in the ignition.

“Sorry, but I think my dad’s exact specific instructions were, ‘Do not let the Durham kid get behind the wheel’. Yeah, that’s exactly what he said.” With another firm nod, Ashley turned back around to realign the stack of bags while motioning for AJ to set his inside as well. She knew it would bother the hell out of her if she couldn’t see out of the back windows of the van while driving, but it seemed to be an unavoidable task at this point with the amount of stuff they had back there now with all the bags, blankets, and few tents. When Gretchen arrived, looking as beautiful as ever, Ashley waved and motioned for her to bring her bag around to the back, too.

“Ready to go when you guys are!” She said excitedly, slamming the back doors of the trunk and practically tripping over her own feet as she walked back to her door. “Gretch, you want to sit up front?” She offered, not sure if she’d like the idea of AJ being her ‘navigator’. The further away he was to make fun of her driving, the better. Maybe Evan could shut him up with his peanut butter. Or Tessa, with her candy.

“You’ve all went to the bathroom first, right? Got your tickets? IDs?” Ashley asked as she turned around in her seat to look back at her friends, going over a list that they may have already gone through ten times this morning like she had.

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Tessa was smiling right up until she saw Beau's tanned body slide into the van along with his bag. Her cheeks immediately became slightly pink and she turned her head away from both him and Ashley. She silently took note of of Beau's sunglasses and of course the reasoning behind them. He was probably baked and was trying his best at hiding it as to not make anyone uncomfortable with it."Always thoughtful I guess. That's a good thing." Tessa thought to herself while she still avoided looking anyone in the eye. A few minutes later Evan wandered in with a spoon full of peanut butter and his usual chipper attitude, sliding in to seat near Beau. Tessa grinned slightly from the smell of the nutty spread, already having a feeling that the van was probably going to smell like peanut butter their whole trip. That suited her just fine. She slowly brought up her eyes and for a second locked them with Beau's, then quickly putting a hand inside her blue jacket's pocket and pulling out a cherry flavored sucker. She unwrapped it quickly, folded the wrapper up neatly, placed it back inside her jacket and then popped it into her mouth with the small white straw sticking out from it.

As soon as the hard cherry candy hit her tongue she immediately relaxed. As she sucked on her favorite treat she could hear the sounds of A.J talking in a demanding sort of voice to their little ringleader."“Keys, hand em over chica." Tessa giggled a bit. Did he really think she was going to let him drive?Not even A.J , who was probably the best of persuading anyone in their little group, would be able to do that."“Sorry, but I think my dad’s exact specific instructions were, ‘Do not let the Durham kid get behind the wheel’. Yeah, that’s exactly what he said.” Tessa let out another giggle and then smiled. Already this trip was turning out to be pretty amusing in her opinion. Gretchen, with her usual gorgeous self, wandered in as well making the whole gang finally together.

She was still quietly eating her sucker when she felt a small vibration from inside her purse. She raised a thin blonde eyebrow and stuck her hand inside it, grasping around for her phone. When she finally managed to find it she picked it up and her eyes grew clouded. It was her Dad calling her. Probably his last attempt to ruin her mood, or beg her to stay at home. Tessa debated silently with herself as whether or not to answer it, but when she turned her head and looked directly at Beau she smiled lightly and hit the small red end button. She refused to have anything but a good time on this trip, and she certainly wasn't going to allow her Dad to interfere.

“You’ve all went to the bathroom first, right? Got your tickets? IDs?”
Tessa nodded at her friend and then placed her phone back into her purse."Yup, yup, and yup! Lets get this show on the road lady! Starstruck here we come!" She laughed slightly and smiled around at all her friends eagerly.

This trip was sure to be great, it just...had to be.

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Beau grinned slightly as Evan slid into the back seat next to him, rolling his eyes from behind the sunglasses. "Never ending supply of peanut butter..." Beau said with the grin still on his face, pushing back on Evan's knee a little with his own. He looked back up towards the front of the bus and caught Theressa's eyes, making him turn a little red in the face as well. They both seemed to look away from each other at the same time, Beau reaching in his pocket and pulling out his Zune and a pair of skull candy earphones. He put one bud in his left ear and turned the volume down from full blast, flipping through a few songs until he landed on one from Deadmau5, putting the mp3 player up against the inside of his leg as he pushed himself back up into the seat.

Beau turned his head, staring at Ashley while she moved a few of the bags in the back, not exactly sure what was the matter with where they were at. He didn't decide to say anything, just a grin showing up on his face as he helped move a few which were directly behind him. His eyes came up and watched as A.J. requested the keys, a smirk coming on his face as Ashley basically said no... Or her Dad did... "Ohh..." He said with a slightly obnoxious tone, "Dad - 1... A.J. -0..." He smiled and let out a little laugh as Gretchen showed up, slightly confused by the greeting. "Er... Hey." He let out, finding his eyes drifting back to Theressa as she pulled her phone out of her bag. His eyes came back up and he noticed her look at him, giving her a faint grin as he noticed her push the red button on her phone. His eyes were diverted down to his Zune as he toyed with it, glancing up at Evan for a second before bringing his right hand up, shaping it like a gun and putting it up to his right temple. Evan was maybe the only other person that knew he liked Theressa, and Beau still wasn't sure why he even told him. Remnant memories of a Delta Chi party involving a massive amount of trashcan punch probably had something to do with it.

“You’ve all went to the bathroom first, right? Got your tickets? IDs?” Beau rolled his head back in an over dramatic fashion, his mouth opening just after Theressa had just spoke, "Oh my god let go already!" He let out an exasperated breath from his throat, knocking the ear bud out of his ear and winding the cord up and slipping it back into his pocket. He grabbed his glasses and sat them on top on his head, finding himself unable to stop smiling for some reason... Well, he knew what the reason was, but never allowed himself to come to that conclusion. His eyes weren't as red as he thought they were, though if he turned his eyes much you could see a light pink around the sides. He had every hope that this trip would go off without a single problem, though traveling across the United States and not expecting some kind of trouble at one point was foolish.

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While Beau's reaction caught her slightly off guard, she felt a slight gladness that Ashley had received her with an exuberance she couldn't even possibly recreate. That twinkle in her eyes filled with eagerness to embark refreshed her somewhat, and from her usually stiff, straight stance, she managed to let go just a little bit, a small sort of relaxed slouch coming over her posture as she practically arranged her duffel bag in the trunk, making sure that there was room enough for more things. Immediately, she managed a smile for her cheery friend and followed once she'd shut the trunk door. She ran a hand through her black hair and before she managed to get over to the passenger seats, she stopped when she heard Ashley's voice. Gretch, you want to sit up front?, her voice a mix of excitement, and hopefulness that she'd be the one to sit up front instead of her irresponsible friend. Gretchen slowly began to realize that she was beginning to feel the road trip vibes; a tinkling laugh came out of her throat, something she hadn't heard in a long time. "If it gets AJ off the wheel, then yes," she said with a mischievous smile, sneaking a glance at him before moving a few more steps.

Ashley's last minute bag check immediately made her check whether she'd forgotten something or now. She seemed to bring everything she needed, alright, and once her insecurities were allayed, she closed her knapsack and got in the front seat, setting her knapsack on her legs and fastening her seat belts. "Have you got a map?" she asked, looking around the dashboard for something she could read that would be of use to the trip.

She felt the irresistible need to just go away right now, but her mind was taken off the thought. "Tessa," she asked, trying to sound nice enough. "Could I have a lollipop?" she asked quite kindly.

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Chuckling lightly, Evan had to fight the urge to push into Beau's leg again, not wanting to risk starting something before they'd even pulled out of the University. "You're jealous; you just wish you had some." Returning to focusing on his peanut butter, he would've missed Gretchen's arrival all together had it not been so damn awkward. He smiled happily at her nonetheless, chalking it up to nervous excitement.

Evan offered Beau a sort of sympathetic pout as the imaginary gun went to his temple as Theresa fiddled with her phone. He thoroughly enjoyed knowing. Secrets were thrilling little things, really. Well, Beau's kind of secrets anyway. Theresa seemed distracted by something else, her eyes telltale as she looked at her phone. The click on her phone was clearly much different than Beau's hand signal. How different he wasn't sure, but whatever she had just stuffed back into her purse could stay there.

He couldn't help but smile as everyone essentially took turns dissing AJ. He turned around in the seat and stuck his tongue out playfully at AJ through the rear window as he put the peanut butter down and shoved his hands into his pocket in search of his iPod.

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#, as written by Jag
AJ wasn’t sure exactly what sort of reaction he’d been expecting from his demand of the keys, but somewhere inside he knew that Ashley wasn’t going to be handing them over so easily, at least not this early in the trip when she still had the idea that everything was going to be a smooth ride. All the same, AJ wasn’t about to make things worse by really picking that fight – yet.

Tossing his bag into the very back of the van, AJ followed suit by climbing in and claiming the farthest back seat possibly, sharing with the overflow of the bags that couldn’t be shoved together against the back door of the van. The placement reminded him of being the youngest kid going on a family vacation.

“Are we there yet?” He complained in his best whining voice as he laid back against the bags with a spreading grin.

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Ashley eyed Beau through the rearview mirror when his annoyance was obvious after she had asked everyone to double check their belongings. “Fine, don’t be pissed at me when we get to Salt Lake, and you realized you forgot your ticket and have to listen from the van!” She grinned and turned the ignition again to officially get started on their trip. Inside, Ashley’s heart was pounding with excitement and some nervousness. She’d traveled before, but never for a whole summer, or alone with friends. Friends who weren’t all exactly ideal role models, at least in her parent’s eyes. But she loved them all the same, though a few of them she had her moments with.

“I put the map in the glove box,” Ashley nodded over at Gretchen who had taken up the position to be her co-pilot. Or navigator, whichever. But Ashley knew where she was going and it didn’t take long for her to get to the freeway to head south toward Missouri, where Starstruck was beginning their tour in St. Louis. “The pink highlighted route is what we’re taking. Blue is for a detour, if we’re ever running late and there’s traffic or a roadblock.” Ashley nodded, and then closed her mouth. The trip was supposed to be fun, and she promised the others that she would try to let loose a little so everything didn’t feel so…orderly.

To drown out AJ’s impatience, Ashley turned on the radio and purposely turned it up a little louder than she usually liked. The lyrics to Starstruck filled the van as they cruised down the highway with Ashley’s open window. The warm summer air was refreshing, and it was impossible not to smile at the possibilities of what the trip had in store for them.


About three hours into the drive, nature was calling for Ashley. Maybe it was the large 7-Eleven drink she had been sipping along the way, but Ashley had tried to hold it in as she swayed in her seat for the last 45 minutes until she just couldn’t take it anymore.

“Hey, Gretch? Can you, uh, look at that map and see if there are any rest stops up ahead? I haven’t been paying attention to the signs.” Ashley admitted to Gretchen, giving her a little nudge with her elbow if she had been dozing off a little. Before her navigator could even get the map out and open it up, Ashley was already taking the next exit, so anxious to get out of the freaking van. The first thing she found was sketchy-looking grocery store that she would never have even looked at twice on a normal day. But with her urgency, she pulled into the parking lot and parked the van in the closest space she could find.

“Sorry guys, I really have to use the restroom. I’ll be quick, I promise!” Ashley didn’t even stick around for a response; as soon as the keys were pulled from the ignition, she was grabbing her purse and was hurrying inside the automatic doors.

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"Tessa,could I have a lollipop?" .Both of the blondes eyebrows raised and she smiled."Sure! Hold on let me look in my bag..."Tessa removed her hand that was holding on to the white stick of her sucker to put it into her purse as she looked around for all the good flavors. Once she had found several she got up from her seat and placed them into the cup holders between Ashley and Gretchen.Cherry, strawberry,coconut, orange, and watermelon, and those were just a few of the flavors Tessa kept in her bag.

"Feel free to have some too Ash! " She gave the two girls in the front a smile before she returned to her seat in the back. Now that A.J was sitting with the baggage, it made the van feel slightly cramped but in a good sort of way. She was in a van with a group of pretty good people so the tightness of it all didn't bother her.

While Ashley and Gretchen talked about the map, Tessa looked out the window of the van and smiled, her blue eyes closing as she waited for the van to start. The excitement of the trip should have kept her awake, but it was getting harder and harder to resist slipping into her usually coma like sleep that she usually always lapsed into during road trips. She tried to open her eyes but knowing that no one would mind if she took a little nap, she decided to just allow sleep to over take her.

“Sorry guys, I really have to use the restroom. I’ll be quick, I promise!” Ashley's voice caused Tessa's eyes to open immediately and she blurted out."Don't steal my candy!". Realizing that she was no longer dreaming , Tessa's cheeks grew pink and she coughed turning her attention back towards the window."Good job Tessa, way to show them your mature side." She mentally kicked herself as she continued staring out the window, doing her best to resist the temptation of looking at the others just to see if they were smiling.

Gently she reached into her purse, pulling out a green apple jolly rancher and popping it into her mouth after unwrapping it. She turned her head to look at the people around her, watching as Ashley moved out of the car to go pee and she laughed. Leave it to her to try and hold it in so that they wouldn't have to stop.

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Gretchen's face lit up as she saw the array of lollipops in the cup holder. She smiled in thanks as she tried to choose which one she wanted -- she was just too tempted by all the lollipops, she wished she could put several in her mouth at the same time. Sighing, she picked out an orange-flavored lollipop and promptly unwrapped it, popping it in her mouth with gusto.

Ashley had rushed out before she even got a chance to scan the map that was in her lap. This was quite surprising; somehow, she doubted Ashley had even prepared. Quickly, she dismissed the thought and locked the doors for safety as Ashley ran inside. Gretchen turned to the party, all doing their own thing, and wondered what she might be able to do to try and mix with them, hoping to make some social progress, but seeing as Beau wasn't so keen on her efforts, she sighed and acknowledged that opening up would be an uphill struggle.

"Oh, hell, I'll get something from the convenience store," she said, unbuckling her seat belt and grabbing her purse. "Anyone want anything?"

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Grabbing the keys from the van had been an instinct to Ashley, but she had been thankful she had brought them inside with her. Knowing her friends, she wouldn’t have been surprised to find the van gone when she returned, or even worse, AJ behind the wheel.

“Excuse me, where is your bathroom?” Ashley asked one of the uniformed employees, who only pointed while they kept their attention on the cereal box display they had been setting up. A point in the right direction was all she needed to bolt across the store to the women’s bathroom. When she emerged a few minutes later, Ashley was more relaxed and slower-paced on her walk back toward the entrance of the store. As she passed the liquor aisle though, Ashley came up with the idea to do a little shopping while she was in there. Not that the whole trip was on her, but she still felt she owed at least some fun to her friends while she had been the crazy Nazi driver streak. So, she filled up her little arms with as many mini-liquor bottles as she could find, soda, and a small bag of plastic cups to go along with.

When Ashley made her way back outside, a brow raised when she saw Gretchen with her purse, about to leave. Stepping back up into the driver’s seat of the van, Ashley looked back at the others, and then Gretchen again. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to take so long, but I brought back gifts.” She tried to smile sweetly, but instead just grinned as she reached back and handed the plastic bags to Tessa, who was the closest to her back there. “I figure it’s only two more hours until we make it to the concert, it wouldn’t hurt to get a head start on a drink or two.” Ashley could already imagine the kind of crowd of people they’d be around at the concert. They weren’t exactly her dad’s ideal vision of people he wanted his only daughter to be around, but then again…no one ever was.

“Just don’t let Beau drink all of it! Save a rum bottle for me.” She nodded and turned back around, then put the keys back into the ignition to start up the van and continue their drive.

After hitting some traffic, the group made it to the concert in a little less than three hours. But with Ashley’s early planning, they still had a good hour and a half before the outside venue even opened its doors. She parked the van with hundreds of other cars in the grassed parking lot, or weeded, was more like it. There were tailgates all around them, a sea of colors spread out around the parking lot, and Ashley didn’t really care to pay too much attention about what was being smoked outside. Instead, she just turned off the van and turned to her friends with another smile.

“Time to catch up,” Leaning in, she made a drink for herself for that mini bottle of rum that Tessa had saved her, and she mixed it with Coke before raising her glass a little. “Let’s try to stay together, if we can?” She suggested with a little shrug, not wanting to get separated from everyone on their first night.

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Character Portrait: A.J. Durham
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View All » Add Character » 7 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Ashley Sullivan
Character Portrait: Beau Thomas Taft
Character Portrait: Evan Reed
Character Portrait: Theresa "Tessa" June

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Character Portrait: Theresa "Tessa" June
Theresa "Tessa" June

"Don't call me Mother Theresa. I will seriously hit you."

Character Portrait: Evan Reed
Evan Reed

"Peanut Butter?"

Character Portrait: Beau Thomas Taft
Beau Thomas Taft

"Hahaha... You're kidding me right?"

Character Portrait: Ashley Sullivan
Ashley Sullivan

"The best things in life come in threes. Like friends, dreams, and memories."

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Character Portrait: Beau Thomas Taft
Beau Thomas Taft

"Hahaha... You're kidding me right?"

Character Portrait: Evan Reed
Evan Reed

"Peanut Butter?"

Character Portrait: Ashley Sullivan
Ashley Sullivan

"The best things in life come in threes. Like friends, dreams, and memories."

Character Portrait: Theresa "Tessa" June
Theresa "Tessa" June

"Don't call me Mother Theresa. I will seriously hit you."

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Character Portrait: Ashley Sullivan
Ashley Sullivan

"The best things in life come in threes. Like friends, dreams, and memories."

Character Portrait: Beau Thomas Taft
Beau Thomas Taft

"Hahaha... You're kidding me right?"

Character Portrait: Evan Reed
Evan Reed

"Peanut Butter?"

Character Portrait: Theresa "Tessa" June
Theresa "Tessa" June

"Don't call me Mother Theresa. I will seriously hit you."


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Most recent OOC posts in One Way or Another

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Okay thanks guys, I'll finish that post up right now. :)

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Hey guys, I'm still here...been a crazy few weeks, and I finally got internet back. So, I'll be posting shortly. Also, please post here for a role call/check-in so I can make sure everyone's still around, thanks! :)

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

My condolences as well Queen . :(

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Oh, dear. My condolences. :( Hope you're okay.

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Some very terrible things have been happening in my life as of late, the most recent being a death.

I'm sorry, and I will do my best to post tomorrow, but it's been really hard on me lately.

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Still here. Sorry I haven't really replied; I'm at a family affair and Internet is pretty slow.

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

There's no order to posting, so please post when you can. If you feel not enough is happening to get a good post up, then make something happen. =)

Jag

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Okay, let's have a roll call. It's pretty damn early for people to be quitting this game already. Let us know where you are. Thanks!

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Ill post first thing in the morning !

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

I do it all the time. =P

Sorry, I meant to post yesterday but it was my first day back at work and things got a little crazy. Ready to get the story moving now, though! :)

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Nope, I posted something then realized I was in the wrong thread, haha. Left ellipsis because I didn't want to point it out XD

Jag

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Was there something that you wanted to say?

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Thanks for letting us know, I'm glad your friend is back. =) Please try to catch up or post if you can spare at least 15 minutes of your day.

I'm officially back from my trip and will move things along with a post either late tonight, or in the morning.

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

OK!

My best friend is coming home from MCT with the Marines today at like 1. I'm going to go ahead and say I will most likely not be paying much attention to much else aside from what I'm smoking, drinking, playing, and listening to. trollface.jpg

I'll swing in from time to time to check and see what's going on, and I'll post if sober enough to.

Re: [OOC] One Way or Another. [FULL]

Okie dokie :). Have fun in Vegas! What happens there...stays there :O . ^^ Be safe and yes I sound like a Mother Hen, I apologize XD