Disclaimers: These are my characters, all mine, even if they bear a striking resemblance to a certain warrior and bard. Sorry MCA/Universal you should know by now that I can't resist. But, so ya know, in no way do I make money from this. It's just my own sick, twisted fun.
Sex/Violence: Lots. More then the usual eps of Xena, and more then my usual stories. This is a tough city, a tough neighborhood where just about anything does and will happen. This story depicts love between two members of the same sex, so if this is illegal or offensive, read elsewhere. This story also depicts an act of rape, but no graphic sex scenes. Sorry folks, just not my style.
Anything else? Don't know about that yet. Guess this story has an R rating because of the violence and potty mouth language. Um, that'd be all now. Go ahead and read. Delve into my twisted mind, if you dare! :)
Feedback most welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
Two days later Shane was back. Casey was grouchy and agitated. Tony was pale and quiet. Nothing much was said. Tony had decided she needed air and had taken Joenne's offer of a walk down to the BP. She didn't know that Casey had asked Jo to keep her there.
"What?" Shane hissed as she paced back and forth across the abandoned apartment's dusty floor.
"You heard me," Casey said. "She's out of juvie. She's packing and she's coming after you."
Shane paced back and forth some more. No. She had two more years! "Why the fuck did they let her out?"
"Good behavior," Casey replied sarcastically.
"Good behavior my ass," Shane mumbled.
"What are we going to do?" Cadence asked, speaking for the first time since Casey had gathered them all together. All that is, except Tony and Jo.
What are we going to do? The question bounced mercilessly around Shane's head. The room echoed in the silence. What are we going to do? Abruptly Shane stood straighter and squared her shoulders. "What ever happens Tony stays out of this. She doesn't know. She doesn't need to know."
"She'll find out. You can't shut every mouth in school, Shane," Cadence stood as well and crossed her arms as she stood in front of Shane.
"Then we should tell her, so she doesn't hear it wrong," Ripper said, as she too stood with crossed arms in front of her dark haired leader.
"Fine, I'll tell her!" Shane stormed across the room. "But she stays out of this." She left in a whirlwind and started her bike with a grinding of gears and flew off down the street.
Inside, Casey mumbled that she didn't think Tony would stay out of it. And they still hadn't settled the question of what to do now that Jynx was back with a vengeance.
"Hey Jo, hey Tony," Shane said as she pulled the bike up beside the curb. Jo nodded a 'hey.' As Shane looked towards Tony she was suddenly caught up in a brilliant smile.
"Hey, you're back!" Tony leapt up from the base of the lamp post where she'd been sitting and talking, getting to know, Jo.
"Yeah," Shane groused. "I'm back. Can I talk to you a minute, Tony?"
"Sure," Tony said. She approached the bike wearily. Shane looked distant, pale, and it worried her. "What's up?"
"Hop on. I'll tell you in a minute."
Tony straddled the massive bike and wrapped her arms securely around Shane's waist. She held on tight as Shane sped down the road. Her nervousness grew by leaps and bounds as they kept going and going.
Finally Shane stopped. They were somewhere near the shore, but not near the usual beaches of Coney Island. It was calm here, with only the backdrop of noise from the Beltway.
"Ok, what's up?" Tony asked after the bike had pulled to a stop and they'd sat silently for some time.
Shane stepped off the bike and made her way to a small breaker. They sat on the rocks, listening to the gulls and the traffic. Tony waited as long as she could before she stood up and walked in front of Shane. She plopped down, right in Shane's line of sight, and forced her to look up.
"What is it, Shane?" Tony asked gently.
Her mouth opened, but nothing came out. She closed it, then tried again. "Trouble..." Shane shrugged and looked away. "An old enemy of mine is back in town."
"Ok," Tony said, studying Shane's pale, withdrawn profile, and wishing she would just look at her. "What does that have to do with me?"
"Nothing, everything. I don't know."
Shane sighed. "Before... I mean, I wasn't always the leader. Casey told you about Jynx, right?"
Tony nodded. "A little bit." A cool ocean breeze ruffled her bangs. Absently she pushed them back.
"Well, we parted on bad terms. She went to juvie and now she's out." Shane looked at Tony, trying to gauge the reaction in the depths of her emerald eyes. They're deep eyes, Shane realized. No, not like that... something shines in them. Some secret knowledge of the world that I don't have. Might never have.
"Revenge?" Tony asked. She crossed her legs, trying to settle comfortably on the ragged rocks surface.
Shane silently nodded. "I um... well, I wanted to tell you. Cause rumors are gonna start flying all over school... and Ripper said... well, everyone thought I should tell you, instead of you hearing it elsewhere."
"When is your suspension over?" Shane asked, deftly changing the subject.
Tony hid a small smile. Ok, go with the flow. I'll let you get away with it. This time. "I go back tomorrow."
"Casey's really sorry about the whole mess, ya know?"
Brows furrowing together Tony looked out towards the ocean. "It wasn't her fault, if that's what she thinks. I should have done what coach asked."
"You can't do everything for everybody all the time, Tony. You know that, don't you?" Shane asked as she laid a reassuring hand on Tony's knee.
Tony glanced down at Shane's tanned hand, and back up to meet her pale, blue eyes. The iciness that she'd seen those first few weeks had slowly faded. It was still there, but not with Tony. She liked the change, a lot. "You have nice eyes." As soon as she said it Tony could feel the blush traveling up her neck to her face. I can't believe I said that.
"Thanks," Shane said with a small shy smile.
She smiled! It's ok, she's not gonna kill me. Yet! "Shane..."
"Don't say anything else, Tony, please?" The dark haired girl suddenly pulled her hand away and stood up. She turned to face the ocean. The salty air whipped at her face and stung her cheeks. Tony stood up beside her.
"Don't," Shane whispered hoarsely. No, everything would change!
"Ok." Tony was silent for a long moment. What the hell just happened? "Shane, can I ask you something?"
"Have you ever... kissed anyone?"
"Yeah." Shane shrugged and glanced down at Tony with raised eyebrows. Where had that question come from? "Why? Haven't you?"
Even in the dim light of the setting sun Shane could see the girl blushing.
"No," Tony murmured. "But it's, ah, not like ya know I never wanted to÷ what's it like?"
"What's what like?" Shane shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, and tugged nervously on the button of her leather vest.
"Kissing?" Tony looked up.
"Um, guess it's all right," the dark teen answered absently, as she watched a gull fly into the horizon.
"But what's it like?" Tony persisted.
Shane shifted, minutely uncomfortable with the way the conversation was going. What the hell am I supposed to say? "Dunno, it's just kissing."
"Is it like seeing stars or lightning? Or whatever it is people say you're suppose to feel?" Tony stepped closer to Shane, unconsciously dropping her hand onto Shane's waist.
"Ah, no," Shane hedged. "I never kissed anyone that made me feel like."
"Haven't you ever loved anybody, Shane?" Tony asked sadly.
"What do kissing and love have to do with each other?" the dark teen asked.
"Huh?" Tony's head lifted and she stared at Shane incredulously. "They have everything to do with one another!"
"Whatever," Shane replied.
Tony grumbled and started all over again. "What's it like?"
Shane sighed. "Depends on who you kiss, I guess."
For a moment Tony mulled that statement over. "Who've you kissed?"
"I kissed Tommy÷ in second grade," Tony chuckled.
"Lucky him," Shane mumbled.
"Well, actually he kissed me firs- huh?" Tony blinked over at Shane with wide eyes.
"N-nothing," Shane gulped.
"I know what I said!" Suddenly Shane turned back toward the bike, unsettling Tony and nearly sending her off her precarious perch on the sharp rocks.
Tony grabbed at Shane's arm. "Shane! Shane, wait."
"What?" Shane turned to stare into Tony's widened green eyes.
"Please come here," Tony urged.
Emphatically Shane shook her head, terror shaking the entire rest of her body.
Tony made her way across the rocks, her ankle twisting between a gap and sending her dangerously forward. Shane rushed to catch her. She pulled her up and Tony stood gazing solemnly into her eyes.
"Do you want to kiss me?" Tony asked breathlessly.
Silently Shane nodded her head.
"Very much so?" Tony whispered.
"Very much so," Shane replied in a husky voice.
"Then kiss me." The younger girl leaned slightly forward. "Kiss me. I want to know what it's like."
"No, you don't. Not with me." Abruptly Shane pushed the younger girl to arm's length.
"Yes, I do." Tony nodded her head, puzzlement clear in her eyes.
Shane shook her head and said softly, "No you don't. You want to kiss a nice boy. A boy who can take you to the movies or to get ice cream."
"But you get me ice cream."
With a sad smile Shane let go of Tony. She backed up a step. Tony took a step closer to Shane.
"You don't want this," Shane said.
"I think that's for me to decide," Tony replied indignantly.
"Whatever." Shane waved her away with a careless hand as she turned back towards the bike and made her way down the rocks.
"Don't you 'whatever' me!" Tony cried. She rushed down to the beach and reached out, grabbing Shane's elbow.
Shane spun angrily and faced Tony. "You don't want to kiss me," she hissed. "I'll hurt you."
"How is a kiss going to hurt me?" Tony asked reasonably.
With dark, gleaming eyes Shane stared down at Tony. "The kiss won't hurt you, I will."
Fearfully Tony dropped her hand from Shane's elbow and took a step back. Shane advanced on her, cruel menace in her eyes.
"I'll rip your heart out. I'll tear your dreams to pieces," Shane growled.
"You can't scare me." Tony's voice took on a hard edge. "You can't scare me away like you've scared Casey or Cadence or Molly. Do you think that you can just give people 'that look' and expect them to run screaming?" Tony didn't wait for an answer. "Stop pushing people to arm's length, Shane. Dammit, you're not as tough as you think."
Shane's eyes narrowed. "Oh, I'm not, am I?"
Tony stared wide-eyed at the coldness sparking from behind pale, blue eyes.
"If I'm not so tough how is it then that I shot and killed my own brother?" Shane choked out the words, regretting them the instant they left her lips.
Tony's mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water.
Sneering, Shane turned again. "Gimme an answer sometime, when you stop catching flies, that is."
Shane was halfway to her bike before Tony managed to reply. "You just did it again."
For a moment there was no answer, then Shane's reply drifted back to her on a current of salty air. "Did what?"
"Push me away," Tony said sadly. "You've tried to push me away everyday since the first day we met."
Shane turned back. "If I recall the first day we met you almost got yourself killed." A wry grinned edged her lips.
Lopsided. Familiar... That grin made Tony tremble inside. She hesitated, then drew in a deep breath of the sea air. "I like you Shane. I don't understand why you don't like me." Tony's voice cracked and silent tears tracked their way down pale cheeks.
Shane did not move.
"I tried to understand you. When that didn't work I just accepted you. I tried to make you laugh. When that didn't work I just tried to be your friend. You were there for me when my mom÷ k-killed herself. I wanted to be there for you. You never let me." Tony turned her back on the dark teen. "You never let me. You never let me in." Her shoulders shook with sobs but she refused to runaway. "What did I ever do wrong that you refused my friendship?"
For a long time there was nothing but the sound of Tony's tears.
"Please don't cry," Shane whispered. Of it's own accord her hand reached out toward Tony. She looked at it, puzzled.
"Sorry," Tony responded angrily, "but I hurt inside." She stayed facing the ocean, unable or unwilling to let Shane see her pain.
Hesitantly Shane took a step forward and laid a shaking hand on Tony's shoulder. She tugged gently till the young girl was facing her. Shane tucked her hand under Tony's chin and tugged gently. She was met only with resistance and cold tears on her thumb and wrist.
"Please." Shane tugged gently again and finally raised Tony's chin up. But her eyes remained tightly closed, tears coursing down her cheeks. "Please, don't cry."
Tony's lips trembled. "I Ů I can't stop."
Running a thumb down each pale cheek, Shane rubbed the tears away. But the tender gesture just seemed to make Tony cry all the harder. "Shhh," Shane crooned. "Shh."
Tony just shook her head violently. Her breath hitched in her throat and she let out a painful sob. She threw herself into Shane and wrapped her arms around her waist. Shane hesitated then wrapped her arms around the shaking girl and held tightly.
It was a long, dark moment later when Tony's tears had finally turned to silence.
In the silence Shane whispered, "I'm sorry."
The blond head tipped upward and green eyes looked into misty blue.
Shane drew in a ragged breath and leaned down to place a tender kiss on sweet, soft lips. Tony's lips tasted like salty tears and it was the most delicious feeling Shane had ever had.
Tony trembled as Shane's tentative lips touched hers. Her knees wobbled and she wound her arms tighter around Shane's waist.
Breathless they broke apart and stared into each other's eyes for a timeless moment.
Shane rested her forehead against Tony's. "I'm so sorry," she said again
Tony leaned back and looked into Shane's darkened eyes. "So am I. I shouldn't have yelled like that. Shouldn't have fallen apart on you."
"You've been through a lot." Shane smoothed Tony's hair and pressed her gently back under her chin. They felt so right together. What have I done?
Anxiously Tony pulled back and looked up. She's scared. I can feel her heart thundering, like a stampede of horses. But I'm scared too. "Shane?"
"Hmm?" she murmured, her half slitted eyes roaming across the ocean, watching the splashes of purple and pink as the sun set.
"What did you mean earlier, about your brother?" Tony asked softly.
Shit... "I... dammit!" Shane pulled away and folded her arms across her chest.
The ice was back. No! "Shane." Tony touched Shane's elbow, and drew the resisting girl back to face her. "Look at me." She didn't look. "Dammit, look at me. Don't pull away from me now."
Shane blinked and looked at Tony. Damn, she's one feisty, fiery, stubborn kid. What the hell have I gotten myself into? I can't do this. I shouldn't do this. Not with Jynx back in town. "I said I killed my brother."
Push. Well, two can push. "How?" Tony asked.
Shane's answers were turning to monosyllables and Tony needed to get inside her head, before she lost Shane again. For good. The thought made her heart stick in her throat. "Tell me what happened."
"I just did. What don't you understand? Shot or him?"
"Don't patronize me," Tony said. God, she's a frustrating person. "I want to know what happened."
"Why? So you can hate me just like everyone else?" Shane fixed bright, steely eyes on Tony, trying to bore the message into her mind; go away. I'm no good for you. I'll hurt you.
Tony obviously didn't hear the message.
All around them the sky was darkening, from pinks to purples to dark blues.
"I don't hate you," Tony whispered. If I thought I could tell you what I want to tell you I would. I think it would only scare you more. It's all about fear, isn't it, Shane? You're afraid of loosing everything, like you lost your brother... "And Casey, Cadence, Ripper.... none of them hate you."
"Whatever," Shane mumbled.
Tony sighed. How can I get through to her? Actions speak louder then words... Impulsively she wrapped her arms around Shane and laid her head on Shane's chest. She felt the solid body stiffen, then long, strong arms finally circled around Tony's back.
"Why?" Shane whispered.
"Why what?" Tony asked.
"Why- how do you break down all my walls and just plow through my life?"
Do I take offense to that? It's a good thing, right? "You like me."
Shane sighed, laying her chin back on the top of Tony's soft, golden hair. The anger, the tension... everything just seemed to flow out of her, leaving her soft, and vulnerable. She wasn't sure she liked that feeling. "Yeah, I like you."
"I like you too." Tony smiled. I like you lots...
"I'm still here."
Tony switched the phone from one ear to the other. "You going or not?" To school. Suspension ended tomorrow, and they would go back. Casey had to come too. "Please?" she asked after Casey remained silent for some time.
"Why?" Casey asked. She wasn't angry, at least not really.
"Because I want you to, Case." Tony held back a sigh. She could just see Casey's future going down the proverbial toilet if she refused to come back.
"I can't put up with that shit from Coach anymore." There was another pause, filled with tension and Tony waited for Casey to continue. "If, if he touches me again... I... I won't hesitate to tear him to pieces. You know that, don't you Tony?" Her voice cracked slightly, and Casey cleared her throat, embarrassed to let her feelings be known.
"I won't let that happen," Tony said.
Casey made a noise like 'phfft.' "Uh huh."
"I'll talk to the princi-"
"That ass won't do anything!" Casey's voice rose.
Tony sighed and this time Casey heard it. Silence reigned for a full minute before Tony spoke again. Her voice was low as she said, "I won't let him touch you Case. I'll protect you."
It almost made Casey laugh. Almost. Till she realized that Tony meant every word of it. And she suddenly had no doubt that the fiery little blond would stick up for her. Why? "Fine."
"You'll come back?"
"Yeah, yeah. But I swear I'll punch his lights out-"
"I know, I know! Thanks Casey, you won't regret this! I'll see you tomorrow."
They said their good-byes and hung up. Casey held on to the receiver wondering what the hell she was doing. School meant nothing to her. Nothing meant anything to her. Except... well... Casey chuckled ruefully.
Besides, Shane would kill me...
"She's going." Tony clicked the phone back down in it's cradle and looked over at Shane as she leaned against the lamppost in the convenience lot.
"Why? She's just gonna have it out with him and get into more trouble." Shane glanced to the passing cars. She knew all she really had to do was terrorize a few teacher's, leave a 'message' for the principal and no one would bother Casey, or Tony. So, why didn't she? Maybe she should...
"Oh come on. Casey has to learn she can't fight her way through everything..." Geez, Tony thought, sounds like someone else I know. But Shane wasn't looking at her or seemingly paying any attention, so she shrugged. "Besides, if she doesn't face it, what she comes up against in the future she may not be able to face either."
Point taken Shane nodded her head and smiled in Tony's direction. Enough serious stuff. "Let's go."
"Where to?" The thought of going back to the apartment was unsettling. She hadn't returned since her mom had died. Only checked in with Gram once in a while to let her know she was still alive. Practice what you preach, darlin', it all comes back to you in the end. She could hear her Gram's words of wisdom, stuff she'd spoken of numerous times in the past. If she doesn't face it... may not be able to face... "Can you take me home, Shane?"
Keen, blue eyes were studying Tony. Their eyes met. Shane nodded. "Sure. And I can pick you up tomorrow and take you to school. Ok?"
Tony watched Shane go, their good-bye kiss lingering on her lips. As she touched the apartment key, nestled in her pocket, she felt the first tremors of fear.
Face it... She didn't want to face the memories. Not without Shane.
I can't do everything with Shane. She squared her shoulders and turned the key. "Hey Gram, I'm home."
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