Tunes: Christie Front Drive "Valentine", "Dyed on 8" ,"Long Out" ; Third Eye Blind "Never Let You Go"; Sublime "Doin' Time"

People: uname for beta-ing. And Lambbaby - consider this my Christmas gift to your lovely self.

Author's Note: Okay, I bet you're all, "ORANGE! A Summer fic? In WINTER (unless you're in Australia)? What are you smoking and where can I get that shit?" Well... there's really nothing to say, other than I get it from a guy named Bobby and he lives in Buena Park. Well, this was just a random Something that I was inspired to write while listening to Sublime's "Doin' Time" although, oddly enough, I listened mostly to Christie Front Drive when I wrote this. Anyway, uh, enjoy, I guess. Happy Holidays or whatever.

Set in a nonspecific Spashley future.

It's hot. Not quite summer, yet, but California weather had a way of ignoring trivial facts like that.

Hot and sticky and loud.

Some party.

People mill about, keg-to-keg, buzzing like insects in the heat. Shiny and sticky with sweat and spilled beer.

They talk about things that she doesn't care about. Professor Soandso and his insanely hard class about Whatever. Mary Whatsherface cheating on John with his best friend at a Kegger. Are you taking Summer Classes?

Honestly, who knew college could end up so boring?

It makes her decision to forgo "higher learning" seem much more justified.

She yawns, brushes grass and dirt from one corner of the blanket and takes a sip from the beer in her anonymous red cup . It's piss-warm and utterly disgusting. She grimaces and pours it into the dirt, by the tree's roots and has an idle thought about plant intoxication levels that's gone before it's really there.

She runs a hand through her hair, hates the way it sticks so damp to the back of her neck and thinks about cutting it off. She hasn't had it short since the Dreaded Pixie Cut of fourth grade - all her mother's fault.

She cranes her neck, looks about for the reason she's at this lame excuse for a get-together anyway.

Spencer left to get more water at least ten minutes ago.

And now Ashley is stuck, hot sticky and bored on this stupid plaid picnic blanket, surrounded by stupid, loud, college students talking about stupid, loud things.

She sighs and falls back onto the stupid plaid picnic blanket.

Really, it's ridiculous how hot it is. They're by a lake, for Godsakes. There should at least be a cool breeze.

Besides, Summer shouldn't be about picnic blankets and lukewarm beer and stupid kids blasting their pseudo-indie and Top 40 - assaulting her ears when she's utterly defenseless.

Summer should be girls. Summer should be late nights in the blue glow of pool lights with a Christie Front Drive LP and a bottle of Stoli. Summer should be skinnydipping in her backyard and slick fingers and breathless laugher. Summer should be eyes like the new day and always something to do.

Where was her Stoli? Where was her pool and her breathless laughter and her New Day Eyes and her always something to do?

She looked about, but couldn't find them.

Where was her girl?

Nothing but the dirty denim and sweat streaked foreheads of college students with their cheap beer and lame conversation and Third Eye Blind songs.

She closes her eyes, searches her pockets for her cell phone but finds only her made-in-China Batman wallet, lint, and loose change.

A boy walks past her. He smiles. She rolls her eyes and looks down at her legs - bare, dappled with sunshine that filtered through the leafy canopy overhead. He says something, but she pretends not to hear.

Talking doesn't seem like a good idea.

She doesn't feel like wasting her time.

Summer's not about wasting time, it's about spending it.

All the important things lie in the difference.

She wishes for a cigarette, remembers Spencer took them from her.

These Things Will Kill You.

She calls them Cancer Sticks, as if semantics matter to Ashley.

But, she frowns when she smells the smoke on Ashley's clothes and Ashley hates to see her anything less than content, so she's quitting.

Trying to.

That has to be good enough, because it's something she's never given anyone else, and it's a place to start, at least.

She shifts on the blanket. It sticks to her. Disgusting.

She peels it away, looks longingly at the water. Thinks about skinnydipping.

Decides it would be a bad idea.

Spencer would get jealous.

Last time Ashley checked, jealousy was less than content, so she decides skinnydipping will not happen this day. Not with these people around. Maybe later tonight, at her pool, with Spencer and the shiny blue light and her Stoli and her Christie Front Drive. Maybe then.

She gets up. Wondering if the back of her shirt (if Spencer was here she would insist that it wasn't enough fabric to constitute a proper shirt, but Ashley never cared about proper-anything) was dark with the dampness of her sweat.


Disgusting. Ashley didn't do sweat well. It was hard to look good while you were sweating - she thinks she can pull it off, knows she can, but that takes effort. She doesn't want to put effort into anything, especially when it's this hot out.

There are only really a few things Ashley likes to put effort into. They all either involve nudity or Spencer, and the ones she likes best involve nudity and Spencer. The rest should come naturally. Fluid movements, practiced ease - even if it's her first time. She's Ashley Davies and she can do everything.

Everything but find her girlfriend at a stupid college keg-picnic by the lake on a too-hot almost-Summer day.

She's checked the bathrooms and a crowd of people she vaguely recognized as friends from one of Spencer's study groups. No luck. She walks to the parking lot where she knew her car was - the one she'd picked Spencer up in. No trace of the blonde girl.

Agitated, sticky, bored, thirsty.


She walks back to her stupid, plaid picnic blanket and sees Spencer laying there. Leaning back on her elbows, face to the sun. Skin looking soft and cool and dappled with the sunlight that drifted down through the leafy canopy overhead. Kind of like an Angel and Ashley thinks that maybe she can write a song from this image, if she manages to burn it into her mind but knows, secretly, that it will find its way to the bottom of the wastebasket with the rest of the crumpled sheets of paper stained with ink and sappy, idiotic, lovesick words that couldn't possibly do justice to the image they were built around. The chords will fade from her mind and the lyrics will be forgotten by the end of the week but the song - the heart of things- it will stay with her forever.

Spencer looks up and she smiles.

Says, "Hey."

Ashley tries to look frustrated but can't stop from smiling back, a little bit.

Spencer says, "Where'd you go?"

Ashley tries to look indignant. Tries so hard. It's a valiant effort but she's left with a stupid grin for her trouble as she drops to her knees on the blanket in front of the girl. Not caring how stupid the plaid is, or that it's hot, or that it's loud, or that the lame Third Eye Blind song has started all over again ("I never let you go, I never let you go…") or that she's sweaty and sticky and thirsty and bored.

Ashley says, "Around"

And replaces the period with a kiss.

It's slow. Soft at first, but a little bit harder the longer it lasts. Spencer's hands find their way to Ashley's damp curls and the brunette would cringe at the thought of her girlfriend's beautiful, pale, soft hands getting all dirty with Ashley's sweat. Not even good sweat. Not sex-sweat. Heat-sweat. It's gross, but she's too busy with Spencer's tongue and Spencer's lips and Spencer's taste to worry about what Spencer's hands are doing so far away from where the Action is taking place.

She pulls back, a little. Feels Spencer's breath against her lips because they're still so close. She smiles and looks into Spencer's eyes. Eyes like the New Day.

She sighs a little. Kisses Spencer again.

And it's not Summer. It's still picnic blankets and bad music and stupid conversation and lukewarm beer.

There's still no Christie Front Drive LP, no Stoli, no blue pool-lights, or breathless laughter, or skinnydipping, or slick fingers finding slicker places to hide.

But, it doesn't matter that it's not quite Summer. (California weather has always been fickle.)

When she kisses Spencer again she thinks that it never really mattered.

End Notes: Yeah, okay, not my very best but... I kinda like it. And I don't care that there will probably be NO ONE who knows what the fuck Christie Front Drive is, but... I love them enough to deal with that. Please review.