Enter Battleground (Player vs. Player) (part 3)
Posted on Sat Jul 11th, 2015 @ 4:48pm by Unawakened Melissa Wilson
Location: Shady Side - Mae's Burgers
Timeline: June 21st, 2010
Tags: Devon, Dev, Deo, Kyle, Valerie, Jeff, Mae, Spencer, Wilson
Deo froze, he knew that move. He did it enough back home, especially at “The Rainbow Cactus” when Harvey hooked him up with yet another “nice boy.” The young artist cast an anxious glance around the room. “What is it?” He lowered his voice to Kyle.
“See the douchebag in the corner over there? The one with the Kestrel shirt and the lame hairdo?” Kyle gestured subtly.
“The one that is going to regret his high school graduation photo for the rest of his life?” Deo remarked.
“That’s Jeff. The asshole I was telling you about earlier, who was saying Melissa and fucked with her reputation. God, I hate that dick.”
Deo’s eyes drew to menacing slits as he thought back to Melissa. He remembered as they sat in his car after her visit with Tim. He remembered the agony in her voice when she broke up with Tim over the rumors. He remembered how she hung her head in abject despair, her voice trembling as she blurted out the horrible things Jeff said about her. He remembered how she believed the rumors, how she hated herself. He remembered gently coaxing her back to sense and reason but only tenuously.
Sure, Melissa messed up by kissing Tim in public while in a relationship with Jeff, but Jeff’s response struck Deo as cowardly, cruel, and childish. The more he thought about it the angrier he felt. He made no point of hiding his disgust. In fact, he pointedly sat up in his seat and urged Kyle to do the same, “You have no reason to hide from this asshole.”
"I know... but if he sees me, I'll have to go over and say something about how much of a dick he is." Kyle sighed dramatically. "And we just ordered."
“Can we get it to go?” Deo gave him a serious look.
Kyle shook his head. "Mae won't be happy about that. We already sat down and ordered. Best not to piss her off."
Deo looked back the way Mae went after taking their order and visualized how a big sister of Harvey might express her displeasure. “No,” he crossed his ankles anxiously, “We’d better not. I like my nuts. I’ve grown rather attached to them. I’m not done with them yet.”
In the corner where Jeff was sitting, one of his friends noticed Deo and his less-than-local appearance. The small group cast glances over at him, curious about who he was.
"Heads up," Deo warned his cousin.
"Oh shit, did they see me?" Kyle rested his face in his hands, wishing he was invisible.
"Nope, they saw me," Deo breathed a heavy sigh in resignation.
"Greaaaat." Kyle groaned. "Time to man up, then."
As if on cue, two people walked up to their table, a man and a woman. The woman, small and Oriental, smiled demurely at Deo. The young man was tall, though shorter than Tim had been, with soft, brown eyes and hair to match. He was cute, in a teenaged high-school boy kind of way.
"Great look, man." Jeff grinned. "Love the tats. Welcome to Shady Side."
“Thanks,” The Greek boy bit his words carefully. Deo felt torn as to how to respond. His rational, adult mind stepped in with a jaunty smile, and like the proverbial angel on one shoulder it preached taking the higher road.Why not schmooze, like with customers back home? It argued reasonably. I’ve smiled my way out of more awkward moments than this. They’re just kids. This is Kyle’s fight, not mine. It isn’t my business. A new, darker voice rumbled from deep in his gut, Oh, but it is.
Arista stood up for me when I needed her most. The little devil of his nature sat on the shoulder opposite, buffing his nails smoothly in this internal battle. Yeah, I mouthed off like a little brat but it didn’t matter. Nobody deserves abuse. Big sister faced down against bigger and nastier assholes with nothing but her acid wit and raw courage. Arista took beatings meant for me. How can I turn my back on Melissa now when it’s my turn to stand up for her? His fists clenched under the table, I’m the adult here. Kyle needs me as much as his sister.
The Greek boy felt as figurative horns grew longer on his forehead. The Dark Side was winning and god help him, he was glad.
Meanwhile, the woman at his side was the first to notice Kyle. Her demure smile fell. "Good afternoon, Kyle." She said softly.
Jeff's smile quickly fell, a look of 'oh shit' crossing his face.
"Might not be so good after this." Kyle glared at Jeff. "Why don't you have a seat, Jeff. Valerie. Join us. Maybe you'd like to meet Melissa's cousin, Deo. He's new in town - you gathered that - but I'm sure he'd love to hear the latest school gossip. Hey, Deo... did you hear the one about Melissa? How her ex-boyfriend flipped out that he saw her kiss some guy, beat him half to death, and then told everyone at school that she was a raging slut, eager to put out for anyone with a cock?"
Jeff paled, his hands balling into fists at his sides. "She was..."
"Oh no, I wasn't finished." Kyle's eyes flashed dangerously. "Because, you see, we haven't gotten to the part where I had to talk a group of jocks out of forcing her into their car, driving her back to their hideout, and gang-raping her. Can't leave out a good part of the story like that, now, can you, Jeff? Let alone the part about how my sister feels so guilty and upset about hurting you that she is completely miserable."
"She should be." His words were cold and hateful. "She cheated on me. With Tim Lafontaine, the cripple."
"Riiiight.... because that justifies it." Kyle nodded understandingly, turning back to Deo. His eyes were still flashing angrily, the muscles in his arms and jaw tense. "Of course. Ruining a girl's reputation, nearly getting her virginity raped out of her - and yes, she is, unless you are even more of an asshole than I thought - because she made a mistake... yeah. Totally reasonable. She kissed a guy with health problems, who seduced her. Makes perfect sense, right Deo?"
“Wait,” Deo played along, “Kyle, you’re telling me that this is ‘the’ Jeff, the one that bragged about putting a kid on dialysis in the hospital? The one that spread rumors that nearly got my cousin raped at school? I hope not, man. ‘That’ Jeff is a fucking loser.” Deo peered directly at Jeff as he leaned against the table. “I wonder if ‘that’ Jeff knows how his stupid, immature rumors made it impossible for Melissa to apologize? I wonder if the that shit for brains idiot gives a damn that Melissa is broken hearted about hurting him and blames herself for everything, including the shit he’s responsible for? I wonder if that horse’s ass is man enough to know when shit has gone too far? I really hope this isn’t ‘that’ Jeff because then I’d say something rude.”
"Jeff, perhaps we should..." Valerie began, nervously.
"Yeah?" Jeff's eyes were dark and hateful as they turned to Deo. "Say it, then. She should be broken hearted. She should blame herself. She's the one who cheated on me, here, not the other way around."
Deo palmed his face and breathed a long sigh, “I guess you are ‘that’ Jeff, then. Shit,” he shook his head ruefully. “Okay,” he sat straight with resolve. “I’ll deal with you after we eat.” The Greek boy gestured as to shoo Jeff away.
Kyle tried not to snicker, hiding his face behind one hand with a complete lack of subtlety.
Jeff blinked, unsure what had just happened. "SHE cheated on ME." He repeated. "I did nothing to hurt her. I loved her!"
“I heard you the first time, kid,” Deo snapped his fiery blue gaze at Jeff. “If you’re so hellbent on pushing this now, we can step outside.”