"Aw, come on Carrie," Reno whines, following me down the street towards my apartment.
I sigh, "No; I already told you: I. Don't. Drink."
"One drink won't kill you! C'mon, Rude and I go out every Saturday night, and you NEVER come with us!" He blocks my way as I'm about to walk inside, "Pleeeeeaaase?"
I roll my eyes and cross my arms, "Reno..."
He pleads with me, "I just want you to come have a drink with us, that's all I'm askin' for; just this once, get out of your apartment on your night off and have some fun with us."
I look at him for a minute and eventually sigh, "...Fine."
He grins, "Alright!"
"On one condition."
He's so happy that it barely fazes him, "Name it!"
I smirk, "We go to the Seventh Heaven."
He shrugs, "Sure, why not?"
I nod, "Okay, I'll see you tonight then." I saunter past him and into my apartment, smirking the whole way. From the window, I see him jog back down the street, that excited grin still on his face. I shake my head, chuckling quietly, "He's such a kid..." I grab a pencil and my sketchpad, "...But I guess I am, too."


I pull my black MCR tee over my head, then get to brushing my hair, yanking a few knots out of my brown locks in the process. Once that's done, I slip on my black boots, then pull the legs of my dark, frayed jeans over them. With a glance in the mirror, I head out the door and start walking towards the bar. Lucky for me, I only live about five minutes on foot from the place, so while it means I have to use my "bike" to get to work, I can visit Tifa and the others all the time.
I arrive at the Seventh Heaven and inside, the first thing I see is a mess of bright red hair; it's kind of hard to miss. I walk up behind him and cover his eyes with my hands, then lean down close to his ear, "Guess who?"
He grins, "Ooh, I love guessing games. What do I get if I win?"
I roll my eyes, "Sorry, you're not that lucky."
When I let go, he looks with another grin, "Carrie!" He gets up from his barstool and hugs me, "Glad you decided to come."
I smile, returning the gesture, "Yeah, well, don't get used to it." I take the stool next to Reno's with a nod to his partner, "Hey, Rude."
He nods back as Reno takes his seat.
"Alright, you agreed to get a drink, sweetheart," the red-head says with a smirk. "Pick your poison."
I smirk back, "I don't need to." I turn to Tifa, "My usual, please."
She laughs a little and nods, grabbing my drink from behind the bar.
Reno eyes me, confused. "I thought you didn't drink..."
"I don't."
Tifa slides my drink to me, still smiling.
"Thanks!" I open the bottle and take a sip.
"What is that?"
I grin, "Mountain Dew."
He stares at me for a second, then opens his mouth to complain.
I cut him off, "You said I had to get a drink. You never said there had to be alcohol in it, Reno."
After a few seconds, he smiles and shakes his head with a sigh, "Alright, ya got me. You win."
Rude speaks up, "No surprise there."
I laugh as Reno rolls his eyes, "Ha-ha, real funny, man."
Someone taps my shoulder, causing me to turn around.
I grin brightly, "Cloud!" I get up and glomp the blonde.
He chuckles and hugs back, "Good to see you, Carrie."
I nod, "You too. Headin' out?"
He nods, "I saw you and thought I'd say hi before I left."
I nod again, " 'Kay, have fun."
He goes out the door, and soon after, I hear him drive away on Fenrir.
I sit down at the bar again, then notice that Reno's looking at me funny. "What?" I ask, slightly apprehensive.
He glances at the door, "I thought you guys broke up last week..."
I blink, then look back at my soda, "We did, we're still close though, ya know? Like we were before we started going out." I smirk at him, "Why? You jealous?"
He chuckles, "Definitely. In fact, I've been waiting for you two to break up so I could make a move."
I gasp, "Reno, I had no idea!"
"Carrie! What are you doing here?"
I turn my head just in time to be glomped by my best friend. I chuckle, "Hey, Alex."
She grins, then notices Reno, who she also glomps, and Rude, who she high-fives.
The former grins at her. "So, where's your other half this evening?"
I look up at Alex, "Yeah, I brought the holy water and everything."
She growls and whacks me, "Not funny!"
Reno chuckles, "Yeah it is."
She pauses, "...Yeah, I guess it is, but it's mean."
I shrug, leaning back against the counter.
She sighs, then looks at Reno, "To answer your question, he should be here soon. We're going out tonight."
I smirk, "Where to?"
She shrugs, "No clue; it was his idea, and he wouldn't tell me anything."
I notice a familiar figure creep up behind her, but I pretend not to notice until he wraps his arms around Alex and lifts her off the floor a little, causing her to squeak.
I laugh, "Hey, Vincent. Long time no see."
He nods at me, "Hey, Carrie." He smirks as Alex tries to get loose.
"Lemme down!"
Vincent chuckles, "Why would I do that?"
She growls, "Vincent! C'mon, no fair!"
He shakes his head, but sets her on her feet, "Happy?"
I glance at Reno, who's smirking at the two.
Alex pouts, "No." She punches his arm, then hugs him, "Okay, I'm happy now."
I chuckle, "You're such a weirdo, Alex."
She grins at me, "But I'm..." she stops, looking kind of confused. "Hm... I don't know whether to say I'm your weirdo, or his." She indicates Vincent with a nod.
I raise my hand, "Mine. No matter how long you two've been together, you'll always be my little oddball."
She laughs and looks up at him, "Sorry, but she's right; she was here first."
He sighs, "I guess I can live with that."
Alex giggles, "Good." She leans up and kisses Vincent, and I can't help myself.
"Eww! PDA! PDA!" I yell, very immaturely might I add.
Reno nearly spits out his drink trying not to laugh.
Alex pulls away and turns to glare at me.
I smile and wave at her.
She looks like she's about to come after me again, but Vincent hugs her from behind and whispers something to her.
She blushes and nods, looking up at him kind of shyly.
He then makes his way out the door.
I grin slyly, "What'd he say?"
Alex smirks, "Wouldn't you like to know?" She hugs me and Reno again, "I'm off. I'll see you tomorrow, Carrie. Reno, you've got work tomorrow morning, so don't get totally smashed, and Rude, keep an eye on them." She waves to Tifa and skips off outside.
I shake my head, "Well, I guess she won't be answering her phone for a few hours..."
Reno laughs, "Nah, Alex ain't that kind of girl."
"What else would they be doing? Besides, you saw her face," I remark, my smirk still visible.
He laughs again, "We'll see. I'm sure that if anything happens, you'll be the first one she tells."
I grin, "As true as that is, I was just kidding; she's still too naive in the head."
He shrugs and goes back to his drink.
From there, time seems to fly by, since there's plenty to keep us entertained. The three of us watch a couple of idiots, drunk out of their wits, start a fight and stumble outside. After that, another semi-drunk guy tries to get me to leave with him, which is when Reno steps in and punches the guy's lights out. My hero. Hah. Overall, I'm glad I came out tonight, and the few hours we've been at the Seventh Heaven have been fun.
'I'm surprised that Reno's actually not drunk off his face,' I muse, washing my hands in the restroom sink. I make my way back to the bar and take my seat, "Miss me?"
Reno smirks and rolls his eyes, "Oh, yeah." He looks at me, "You ready to order an actual drink?"
I sigh, "For the umpteenth time, Reno, I refuse to drink alcohol. I don't get what the big appeal is, because I think it's disgusting."
He chuckles, taking a swig from his own drink. "Fine, stick to your soda."
I eye him suspiciously, 'He let that go pretty quick... Usually he bugs me for at least five minutes before he gives up...' Deciding I'd rather not question it, I take a drink of my Mountain Dew. As soon as I take a sip, I nearly choke. I start coughing, and my throat feels like it's burning from the inside. I catch my breath and send a murderous glare at Reno, "You spiked my drink!?"
He half-shrugs, still smiling lamely, "You need to lighten up, Carrie."
I growl, and, even though I know everyone's watching, I do the first thing that comes to mind.
I slap him across the face.
He freezes for a second, then gingerly touches his red cheek. He looks up at me with confused and partially angry eyes. The anger disappears, though, and the confusion in his eyes grows when he sees that there are small tears gathering in mine.
"Goddammit, Reno, why don't you listen!? I said I hate the stuff and I meant it! Why can't you grow up and get the fuck over it!?" I scream at him. When he says nothing, I flee from the bar.
I practically run down the street, only stopping when I reach an intersection. I wipe my eyes and regain as much composure as possible before pulling out my phone. I punch in Alex's cell number and pray that she answers.
After two rings, I hear her voice at the end of the line, "Hello?"
"Alex? It's Carrie. Are you still out with Vincent?"
"No, we're at my place watching a movie. Carrie, are you okay? You sound upset..."
I smile slightly; Alex always knows when I'm upset, even if I don't show it at all. "Not really... Listen, I hate to bother you guys, but... would it be okay if I came over for a while?"
"Of course! You know you're always welcome here," she responds; she sounds a little worried.
I take a breath, "Thanks. I'll be there in about two minutes."
I hang up and go right, making a B-line for Alex's house. Like I'd said, I walk up to her door about two minutes later and knock.
After a few seconds, the door is opened by Vincent, who gives me a once-over and nods, then steps aside to let me in.
I give a small smile and go inside.
Alex comes down the stairs and the first thing she does is hug me.
I sigh and hug back, feeling slightly better already.
She leads me to the couch and sits down next to me, "What happened?"
I run my hand through my hair and, with another sigh, I start. "We were still at the bar, and I went to use the restroom. I came back five minutes later and found that Reno had put alcohol in my soda. You know how I feel about the stuff," I glance at her.
She half-smiles and nods, "You hate it, I know. So do I."
"Well, I got really pissed and slapped him. Hard. I yelled at him, caused a HUGE scene, then bolted before I started crying," I finish. After a second, I look at Alex again, "You think I'm an idiot, don't you?"
She laughs a little bit, "I don't think you're an idiot. I don't blame you for flipping out, either. If it were me, I probably would've done the same thing. Oh, and kudos for slapping him."
She holds up her hand, and I give a small laugh and high-five her.
"He's the idiot," she says, putting an arm around my shoulders. "If he can't respect your choices, then who needs him?"
I sigh, "Easy for you to say..."
She rolls her eyes, then perks up and looks towards the door. She smiles, "Do you know what one telltale sign is that a guy likes you?"
I look at her and shake my head.
"When you run away, he comes after you, even if you don't want him to."
I look at her strangely, "Huh?"
The doorbell rings then. Still smiling, Alex winks and goes to answer it, but I can't see into the front hall from where I am.
I hear the door open, then a quiet pause. The door closes, and Alex comes back in. She walks over to Vincent and, with one last smile at me, goes upstairs with him.
Someone else walks in, catching my attention.
I'm shocked to find Reno standing there, looking at me with sad eyes.
He rubs the back of his head nervously, "Hey, Carrie."
I stare for a second before looking down at the floor. "...Hey." I hear him take another step into the room.
"Look, I... I'm sorry. You're right, it's not my business and I need to let it be. I know I did something stupid and... I'm tryin' to fix it."
I bite my lip and keep quiet.
He sighs, "Please, Carrie, I really am sorry. You don't have to forgive me but... say something? Anything?"
I take a breath, "Can you explain it to me? Why you keep doing stupid little things like this?"
He doesn't say anything, doesn't even move.
I sigh, "Fine, never mind." I get up and make for the door, but Reno stops me by latching a hand onto my wrist. "Let go, Reno," I say, not even bothering to turn and face him.
"It's because I like you..."
That stops me in my tracks.
"...What?" I murmur, finally looking at him.
He glances at the floor, "...Don't slap me for this, okay? I've been working up to it for a while."
I try to ask him what he's talking about, but speaking becomes an impossibility when he leans in and kisses me. It takes a few seconds, but I blink away the shock and kiss him back, wrapping my arms around his neck.
He almost instantly circles his arms around my waist and pulls me closer to him.
Before we can do anything else, though, we're interrupted by a yelp, followed by several thuds and one very loud thump at the end.
I pull away from Reno and look over his shoulder towards the stairs.
He follows my gaze and sees Alex on her ass at the bottom of the staircase, holding her head with one hand, and she looks a little cross-eyed.
"Whoa... some trip, man..." she winces. She shakes her head to clear her obvious dizziness and looks up at us with a grin, then throws her arms up over her head, "Yes!"
I blush, while Reno only laughs as Vincent comes downstairs and helps Alex off the floor.
"Lucky you, Vincent," Reno jokes. "She's a graceful one."
Vincent chuckles, "Like you're one to talk."
Alex and I exchange a glance, then look up at the boys with insulted expressions, "Hey!"