Dreams of a Different Kind
This story, though it makes use of several of the characters and general ideas from NBC's "American Dreams," is still mine. No infringement was intended since this is fan fiction and meant solely for fun.
Love/Sex: Sometime in the future, I foresee sex and love (or love and sex) for these characters - between two adult females, by the way. So, if that's not your cup of tea, tough.
Violence: Perhaps in later parts, but I will try not to make anything too gruesome. J
Comments: Hope you like, always love feedback. firstname.lastname@example.org
The moment Meg stepped foot inside her house, the yelling started. Though she had expected that kind of welcoming, she was still startled, and for a second was tempted to run back outside. Her mother was sitting at the kitchen table, a look of worry and then anger coloring her features, while her father stood next to the counter, his arms crossed against his chest in an unmistakably furious posture. They were like a wall of fire in the way they attacked, not allowing Meg to utter a single word. Her parents' exasperated words barely made it through Meg's conscience after a while. She simply stood with her back against the door, looking from one parent to the other and nodding when she felt she had to. She was tired and the stress of her entire situation was beginning to take its toll on her small frame. Her parents continued yelling and accusing in unrelenting tones, until they noticed the slightly glazed look that crossed over Meg's usually bright blue eyes. Her father finally sighed and said, "Go to your room and we'll continue this in the morning. In case you were wondering, you're grounded for a month."
Meg simply nodded and headed to her room, leaving her parents to discuss her in private. Her body was weary and her spirit felt defeated. The situation wasn't as bad as she had first thought it would be, but it was still enough. Thoughts of what tomorrow would bring and the continuation of that "conversation" filled her sleepy mind before she fell into a deep sleep. She wasn't drunk like Roxanne, but the adrenaline and fear that had coursed through her veins at her attempt of getting home as early as possible, were finally draining out of her system, leaving her as weak as a newborn.
The next morning, rested and less fearful than the night before, Meg got dressed for school and prepared to go downstairs and face her own kind of firing squad. Her mother was busy making breakfast while her father stood behind, admiring his wife and taking bites out of the crisp toast he held in his hand. Her little brother Will was sitting at the table eating some cereal and playing with a piece of the newspaper his father was no longer interested in. And her younger sister Patty was carefully studying one of her notebooks while polishing her own bowl of cereal. "Good morning." Greeted Meg.
"I heard you came home at from supposedly studying with Roxanne," quipped Patty. As she grew older, her ability to irritate and make things worse if possible, seemingly grew stronger.
"Shut up, Patty," answered Meg, angrily.
"Mind your own business, Patty, and don't tell your sister to shut up, Meg," admonished her mother.
Meg noticed from the corner of her eye that her father finished drinking his morning coffee and eating a small breakfast before preparing to go to work. She held her breath in anticipation, hoping that perhaps he would forget his promise of last night and leave things as they were.
"Don't think I have forgotten our little conversation, Meg. We'll continue this when I get home, but for now, your punishment stands and I want you to come straight home after school today, understand?"
'Damn, I've spoken too soon,' she thought wearily to herself. "Yes dad."
"Alright. If you two want a ride to school you better get all your things and get in the car now." He addressed his youngest children.
Both Will and Patty scrambled for their things, said goodbye to their mother and walked outside to wait in the car. "Bye honey." Mr. Pryor said to his wife as he kissed her cheek goodbye. "I'll see you later." He pointed toward Meg and left for work. Meg sighed and quickly finished her breakfast. She gathered her things for school and with a quick wave to her mother, she left as well. Meg's high school was very close, being only a few blocks from their house, so she always opted for walking. No more than a few minutes into her walk, Roxanne met up with her and matched her step for step.
"Hey Rox," Meg said as softly as possibly, figuring her friend was probably harboring a massive headache.
"Not so loud."
Roxanne looked better than last night but she sure wasn't half as cheerful. Meg chuckled at her friend's predicament and couldn't help but say, "I told you not to drink too much. I still don’t know what that was."
"It was good, so leave me alone." Roxanne answered in dejection.
Meg's smile remained firmly in place as they made their way to the school. The girls' high school was run by nuns and its level of discipline was high and unrelenting. They had very strict codes of behavior and of dress, so all the students were forced to wear uniforms of blue and white. The girls' ensemble included a knee length blue skirt, a white, button-down shirt tucked into their skirt, a covering deep blue blazer, a striped tie and white knee socks, while the boys wore pretty much the same thing, only with a pair of dark slacks. When they entered the school, both girls headed to their respective lockers to tuck in their bags and take the necessary material for their first class. Soon they reached their classroom and found their seats in the middle of the room.
"So what did your parents do when you got home?" Roxanne finally got to asking, her headache beginning to lessen.
"They started screaming at me like there was no tomorrow and they grounded me for a month." Shrugged Meg.
"Ouch. I guess we won't be going back to that place, huh?"
Meg frowned, shaking her head, "I don't know, maybe. We'll see what else my dad has to say when he gets back from work today. I really liked that singer's music."
As they were talking, they placed their books on the table top in front and prepared their notebooks for class.
"You're going to risk getting caught just to hear that singer sing?" Asked Roxanne incredulously.
Meg shrugged, "Next time I'll just be more careful and make sure I'm not late. She's also a really nice person."
"How do you know?"
"Cause I talked to her for a bit."
Roxanne shook her head and said, "Whatever, do what you think. I don't think I'll be going to that place again anyhow."
Another student from their class plopped himself on the desk in front of Roxanne and asked in a deeply relaxed tone, "What place?"
Chris was a new student at the school and he seemed to find trouble anywhere he went. Rumors were traveling all around the school about his less than flattering past, yet no one really knew what was true and what wasn't. Meg, strangely enough, felt a pull toward the young man. He was handsome, with straight, short dark hair, green eyes, a strong, lanky form and an irresistible little mole above his lip, but he also had an extremely volatile personality to match his good looks; one minute being completely nice and charming, and then the other, mean and angry. His changing moods and attitudes kept throwing Meg off balance. She never knew how to act around him or what might trigger his nasty streak and bring it to the surface. Roxanne agreed with Meg's taste in men and hoped that the illusive Chris would see what lay in front of him and finally act upon it. Chris, though he found Meg extremely attractive, was interested in other things altogether. He had his own agenda and falling for Meg wasn't on it.
"The new place on the other side of town, 'Bailey's'," answered Meg.
"I've seen that place. It's a dump." He said with conviction.
Meg couldn't explain the ire she felt, it wasn't as though she owned Bailey's or even had such a great image of the place in her own mind, but somehow she felt she had to defend the place, and perhaps its workers. "It's not a dump; it's actually a very nice place!"
Chris raised his eyebrows in surprise at the harsh tone coming from Meg, but a new feeling of respect crept into his heart concerning the young woman. "You've been there? I didn't think that would be your kind of place."
Before Meg could offer an answer, their Math teacher walked into the class and announced they were to have a quiz. With a collective grown from the students and the satisfied smile of the teacher, the quiz was passed around. The rest of the day passed rather uneventfully for Meg but she was still relieved to make her way home after the tiring day. When her father came home from work, they had a little conversation regarding her behavior and what her parents were expecting of her and she promised to come back home on time for now on. Meg was more than happy to have that conversation over with and she hoped the month would pass quickly so she could go back to the bar and listen to the soft, enchanting voice of Luke.
The month indeed passed rapidly and uneventfully and she was finally off the hook with her parents. Meg was anxious to head on over to the bar and see what she had missed the past month. She knew she had to be overly careful this time since another mistake would probably get her grounded for life. Her situation at home hadn't gotten any better in the past month though. JJ would send a letter barely once a month and the last one revealed that he was being sent deeply into enemy territory. Mr. Pryor's feelings were at war with each other since on the one hand, he was extremely proud of his son and the way he served his country, and yet the father within him couldn't ignore the extreme danger he would be facing. There were no longer what ifs, it was clearly decided that he would be heading straight into the arms of war. Their son, Will was doing better, but his leg still gave him trouble now and then, adding to his parents' worries. Furthermore, JJ's fiancée, Beth was having trouble at home and was considering moving in with the Pryors. Overall, Meg and her supposedly insignificant problems were simply in the way. Meg knew that on the one hand that gave her the freedom to act as she pleased as long as she followed her parents' rules and came home on time, but it also bothered her tremendously that she hardly seemed to matter anymore. She opted to focus her energy on the first option and find solace within herself.
Filling her backpack with notebooks and the like, she pulled on a royal blue, knee length skirt and a light blue jacket, fixed her hair one last time in the mirror and prepared to leave. She descended the stairs and turned to the living room when she heard her father's voice calling, "Where are you going?"
"I'm going to Roxanne's; we have some studying to do." She had made plans with Roxanne earlier in the day to tell her parents that she would be coming over to study, in case they would call to check up on her. Roxanne agreed halfheartedly, but she was willing to help even though she wasn't planning to go to the bar again.
"Fine, be back by ." He said and turned his interest back to the TV.
Meg agreed, said goodbye and left. Before she had time to leave the house's driveway, she was stopped by a voice calling to her, "Hey, where are you going?" Chris and his mother moved next door to Meg and her family, and he was out on his own driveway, leaning on a van and smoking.
"To Roxanne's." She answered immediately.
Chris smiled slyly and said, "Oh really?"
Meg was getting angry at his condescending tone. "Yes, really. Now I really have to go." She emphasized the second "really," turned on her heel and left, missing the look of smugness on Chris' face.
She reached the bus station a few minutes later. She was still reeling from her encounter with the infuriating Chris when she got on the bus, and still her anger remained when she stepped off the best in front of "Bailey's". There seemed to be a bit more cars in front of the bar and the silence that came over the place when she stepped in rang in her ears. She smiled shyly and entered the bar, moving to sit at one of the free tables. Much like before, the din slowly returned and she sighed quietly in relief. She was so busy looking around that she didn't notice the woman standing behind her until she touched her shoulder. "Hi there."
Meg jerked in surprise and looked up, only to be captured by the most amazing pair of blue eyes she had the pleasure of seeing only once. "Luke! Hi!"
Luke smiled at the joyous greeting and asked if she could sit down. Meg hurriedly agreed and made room for the tall singer. "It's been a while since I saw you here."
"Yeah, I got home a little late the last time and my parents weren't too thrilled." Meg answered demurely. She was glad to see that the musician had remembered her and had probably sought her out in the crowd.
"I thought you wouldn't be back, that you didn’t enjoy my second set as much."
Meg jumped to refute the singer's statement but was stopped by the amused glint in Luke's eyes. She slapped her arm playfully and said, "If I hadn't liked it so much, I wouldn't be here now."
Luke smiled warmly at the lovely young woman, "I know. I'm glad you're here." With that, she got to her feet and excused herself, saying that she had to go prepare herself for the performance. Meg was delighted she got the chance to speak with the beautiful musician before she went on stage. She wanted to clear the air with what had happened and tell the singer the reason behind her absence. She knew she had no reason to feel obligated to this woman, but she instantly felt better and she had the rest of the night to enjoy the woman's music and hopefully, good company.
Both sets were wonderful and Meg realized why she had felt like something had been missing for the past month. She had somehow grown attached to the singer's music as she felt the plucks of the guitar strings tugging at her heart. After Luke finished her sets and put her guitar back inside what Meg supposed was her private room, she came to Meg's table and sat down. "What did you think?"
Meg was smiling so brightly her cheeks hurt, "You were amazing, even more so than last time."
Luke chuckled deeply at the woman's enthusiasm. "I'm glad. I hope that this time it won't be a month till you come back." Luke had no idea why she said that until it was already out of her mouth. She wondered what she had meant by that since the girl was obviously still very young, probably in high school and the bar was hardly any place suitable for her. 'Now you think you can decide what is suitable for her, huh?' asked her inner voice.
Luke was deeply in debate with herself and she completely missed Meg's question. Asking her to repeat the question, Meg did, "So, you're new here, right? This place is new so I figured you are too."
Luke shook her head and said, "No, I've been around. When this place opened up I came for a job and befriended the owner. So he lets me stay here in the back in exchange for my work."
"For your singing?"
"No, he actually pays me for that. I do all kinds of other stuff around here though."
"Oh. Where are you from then?"
Luke smiled at the girl's curiosity and said, "From here and there."
Meg narrowed her eyes and bit her lip in thought, "Hmmm…"
"How old are you, Meg?" Luke changed the subject.
"I'll be turning eighteen in a month."
"Damn, you're young." Said Luke, though she thought she was probably around that age. "When do you have to be home?"
Meg suddenly started and looked at her watch, "Oh my God." She jumped from her chair and gathered her things.
"What? What's wrong?"
"I have to be home in fifteen minutes and I still have to get to the bus station."
Luke got up as well and put a comforting hand on Meg's forearm, "Don't worry, I can give you a ride."
Meg looked up in surprise and smiled cautiously, "Really? You wouldn't mind?"
Luke smiled and shook her head, "Not at all. As long as you don't mind my ride."
Meg didn't understand Luke's meaning but she shrugged it off and hurried outside, after Luke. When they reached the parking lot and Meg was faced with Luke's ride, she understood her meaning. "That's yours?" She asked in apprehension, pointing to the big, black motorcycle parked in front.
Luke nodded and situated herself on the bike, bringing it to life with the turn of her key. She handed Meg the second helmet and patted the back seat invitingly.
"I don't know about this…" She wasn't sure what would be worse, not getting home on time again or risking certain death if they ever found out about it.
"Come on, you only have ten minutes to get home, the bus is more than half that time and I promise, I can get you there in less than five."
Meg glanced at her watch once more and quickly made a decision. Taking the helmet, she mounted the bike with Luke's help. "Hold on tight." Luke said as she revved the bike and led it to the road. Meg yelped in fear and exhilaration when Luke sped the bike down the road. Luke couldn't help but smile at the tightening of the girl's hands on her waist. Like Luke had promised, they were in front of Meg's driveway in less than five minutes time. Meg unstrapped the helmet and returned it to the waiting Luke. "Thank you so much for the ride, Luke."
Luke smiled crookedly, "My pleasure. Anytime you need a ride, just say the word."
"Thanks, I'll see you soon."
Luke smiled and nodded, waving one last time before she silently moved the bike out of the driveway and drove off, feeling a little chilly now that the blonde was no longer behind to warm her back. She had a lot of things to think about when she got home, she concluded, as she revved the bike again, just to hear the sound of the roaring engine.
Continued in Part 3
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