The Road Trip
Disclaimer: "The Road Trip" is a work of fan fiction inspired by the television series "Felicity" and is intended only for the purposes of entertainment and self-instruction in writing. The author does not claim ownership of any of the characters or settings originally appearing in the television show, nor is the author profiting from this fan fiction story in any way. The characters appearing in this fan fiction who have also appeared in the original television series belong to writers Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams, and are used here with all due respect to the original works. No infringement is intended.
A/N: I began this story without having seen Season 3 of "Felicity." Consequently, you will find that the story line presented here doesn't agree with some of the places Felicity & Ben later mention having seen that summer. Since a rewrite and change of route were impossible by the time I discovered the error, I have left the story as it is. Regardless, I hope you enjoy my telling of one of the most important parts in FAB history.
1 – Destination Anywhere
As the cab turned around, Felicity's heart began to thump against her ribcage. What if he left already? She checked her watch. Ten-oh-nine. I'm late. He only said he'd wait until ten. She peered in agitation out the windows at the heavy New York traffic. She had never minded the congestion and chaos of New York life before. In fact, she loved it…except for right now. Minutes ticked by while the cab navigated through the logjam of cars, heading for the loft at a pace that made Felicity want to jump out and run instead.
She wondered for an instant if she'd made the right choice, then squelched the thought at once. Berlin would have been wonderful. When the cab driver asked her destination, she blurted the name of the airport without thinking. It seemed automatic that she should want to go with Noel. After all, she loved him, didn't she? The thought of not going with him and knowing she'd have to face that decision in the fall, had seemed too much to bear.
As soon as the words left her mouth, they felt somehow…wrong. The closer the cab got to the airport, the more everything in her pointed like a compass arrow straight to the loft. She couldn't do it, no matter how great Berlin would be. The chance of a lifetime wasn't in Berlin. She hoped it was still waiting at Sean's place.
Please drive faster! She gripped her knees in frustration. She noticed a small tear in the upholstery of the cab seat and fixed all her attention on it, trying to distract herself from their slow progress.
Felicity knew without checking when the cab turned the corner onto Wooster, because her heart went from thumping to hammering. She glanced at her watch again. Ten-twenty. With a disappointed sigh, she lifted her gaze to the window.
The Cadillac stood parked out front of the loft…with Ben leaning against it.
Her heart surged into her throat as the cab veered toward the curb. Ben looked up and burst into a smile that made her heart race even faster, if that were possible. She paid the driver, then opened the cab door and got out.
She tried to speak, but words wouldn't come. She had the strangest feeling that the simple decision of where to spend two weeks of her freshman summer had just altered the course of her life. It now lay like a blank slate before her.
Or an unmarked road map.
The driver got out and opened the cab trunk, setting her baggage on the curb for her. She thanked him. The driver nodded and, getting into the cab, zoomed off to convey some other person to their unknown fate.
Ben came forward. "Hey."
"Hey," she answered, managing a smile of her own. "I wasn't sure if you'd still be here."
His smile broadened into a sheepish grin. "I figured I'd wait until ten-thirty…just in case."
With that, summer stretched its welcoming, sunny arms around her, and Felicity knew there could have been no other choice. She beamed. "I'm glad you did."
Ben picked up her bags and went to the trunk of the Cadillac, opening it and tossing them in beside his own things. Walking around to the passenger side, he opened the door with an exaggerated flourish. She giggled and got in.
He rounded the front of the car and got into the driver's seat. He put the key into the ignition and paused without turning it. He looked back at her, and the corner of his mouth curled upward. "Thanks for doing this with me."
Felicity dimpled at him. "This is going to be a great trip."
"Yeah. Yeah, it is." He started the engine. "Where to?"
What a question! The whole country lay ahead of them, and they had two weeks to see it all. She laughed. "Anywhere!"
"Anywhere it is," he said, and they pulled away from the curb.
They drove the city streets in silence for a while, navigating the same traffic that had slowed her arrival at the loft. Felicity didn't mind it at all, now that they were together. Together. Ben and me, together. I still can't believe this is happening. We haven't even left New York yet, and already I know it's the best summer I've ever had. She watched him from the corner of her eye with a small smile.
Ben noticed her looking and grinned again. "What? Do you want the radio on?"
She felt herself blushing and hoped he couldn't tell. "No." She saw the travel book sitting between them on the front seat and picked it up, flipping through it. "Do you still want to see Indianapolis?"
"Yeah, it could be fun. Didn't you say you wanted to go to Yellowstone?"
"Yeah. I've never been. My parents went before I was born, and they showed me these great pictures they took, so I always wanted to go," she explained, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "What else do you want to see?"
"I don't know. I had some friends in high school, we used to just get in the car and go somewhere. We'd drive until we got to an intersection, and then spin a bottle on the road, and whichever way it pointed, we went that way." He laughed. "We wound up once in some one-street town in Utah and ran out of gas. My friend Jason only had ten bucks left in his pocket, so we sold his car stereo for the gas money to get home." Looking at her again, he added, "What do you want to see?"
She thought about that. "How about Philadelphia and Washington D.C.? There's all that American history to soak up."
Ben laughed. "Sure. First stop, Philadelphia."