Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. :P

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Heartbreak Club
a Wild ARMS 5 one-shot

Crack!Pairing: Rebecca x Chuck
*told from Rebecca's POV*

For some it feels like forever. For others it's never long enough.
I swore I was over it. I felt no pain.
So why did I feel so alone?

Welcome to the Heartbreak Club.

Maybe it was meant to be that I would drift away from Dean. It seemed natural when someone who had once been half of your life suddenly falls in someone else's arms.

Although, it still felt a *little* sad to dream of the sparkling blue eyes you've seen all your life. In earlier teenage years I've dreamed of those eyes, burning like blue coals. So full of life, so full of what I admired! Those eyes will never look at me the way I once wanted them to.

I harbor nothing against Avril-she was the one that won, after all. Weren't we "rivals and friends" after all? If anything, I should be relieved...my friends are happy, and my heart is (or should be) lighter for lack of worry and insecurity.

If so, why couldn't I shake the feeling of something...missing?

That was where the Heartbreak Club was.

A little hollow place in your heart where you knew something was missing.
But you didn't really know why.

Time passed on, and change was in order.

I left Capo Bronco to make a name for myself in the big cities. My trick shooting earned a living-though more street performer than circus star. But I was invited to shows, and my income was enough to keep me going; I was happy, and all was well. Indeed, the years went by!

It was my twenty-first birthday before I knew it.

Greg confided in me on one occasion that alcohol can be a great friend, so long as you don't drown in it. Coming from a man who bore so much suffering, I think I could understand. I appreciated the bottle he sent, too-a wonderfully delicious apple liquor that held fond memories, compensation for not being with us on my birthday. That liquor I decided to have that very night at my party, in the tiny flat I was renting for myself. It wasn't really much of a party, per se. More of a cozy get-together-there was Dean, Avril, and Chuck.

These were things I thought about as I was primp-er, powdering my nose-at the bathroom of my apartment. I didn't really ponder on them at that moment, as I was deciding on what to do with my hair. Decent dress, comfy shoes, powdered face...all that was missing was the arrangement of glossy red hair on my head.

I was starting on braiding it into pigtails when my hand froze on its descent towards the ribbons. That seemed a little too juvenile, doesn't it? Smiling, I felt myself gravitate towards the little box on the shelf: a pair of pretty green gemstone earrings from Carol. The holes in my ears were going to close if I didn't use them, right?

Change was, indeed, in order.

Dean, Avril, and Chuck arrived just as I was getting the glasses and the bottle of Johnny Appleseed. It was pretty good...Dean had the decency to wear something pretty nice for that night. Or Avril had to pick out his clothes (bless her). But there was laughter and talking, and soon we were enjoying the night.

Dean slung his quickly tipsying form over Avril and slurred in the most Dean-ish way possible strange things. His (now) bulkier form surpassed his girlfriend's height by several inches, and his face was not so rounded anymore. It did not restrain his energetic foolishness, however...

Avril was stumped (How was she to know? She was a stranger to alcohol.) when her boyfriend began to proclaim the strangest things involving adventures and food. Taller, more delicate, the 'Ice Queen' had definitely melted, and was as picturesque as ever. A true beauty, and a true lady, too! She was always so sweet. She had to be a woman of patience, too, to put up with Dean hiccuping and blurting drunken things in his party voice.

His party voice was not his inside voice, and it was hard to distinguish between the two. Kept talking about other weird things, too. Things too lewd or downright gross to be mentioned!

Chuck laughed off every single antic, his blond hair a mess and his blue eyes leaking-at twenty-three he was now pretty mature and low-profile for his Golem Hunter profession. Still a heartbreaker in public opinion, I think-he has the beginnings of a Nightburn-esque reputation. It seemed so long ago when he was actually a bit airheaded...though that side never completely died.

There were more stories-Carol's new travels, my performances, Chuck's job as a Golem Hunter. That day the shovel died, the week Dean accidentally hung his clothes on some poison ivy, the time Greg had a cold and we all tried (and failed) to cheer him up. The first time Avril and I went shopping together, the time Pastel kissed the boy next door.

Then of course it moved on to my love life. Dean went on about all the little boys that I played with and how they were so intimidated by a girl that could shoot, pummel, and kick as hard as they could. Avril's expression was a little worried, and she motioned what I interpreted to be apologies for his thoughtlessness.

I shook my head and smiled.

"Becky'd rather fall in 'mud' than fall in 'luve'! Have you heard of that one time she heard Timmy Northon tried t'ask her out an' she clocked him in de faysh?". There was an awkward half-beat where Dean lurched forward and actually laid his head on the table. Avril looked worried, but stayed quiet for a minute.

My hands went for my glass and brought them to my lips. "Dean, you know Tim Northon looked like he was beaten with the ugly stick a fair few times. And we were, what, six?" We all shared a good cackle at this, as my childhood friend agreed wholeheartedly. Avril sighed and gave him a light kiss on the cheek, and as I took another sip I thought I saw a pair of blue eyes flash at me.

Did he see that little twinge of emptiness?

More time passed, and after a couple of movies it was deep into the night.

Avril nursed a near-comatose Dean back home hours ago. That only left Chuck and I in that tiny flat I had rented out, nursing our liquor and laughing gently about yesterdays on the couch.

It was here I got a closer look at Chuck, not being particularly close (physically, I mean) before. Now that I was sitting on the sofa facing towards him, I got a much clearer view of the young man I called my friend. Decently tall, broad-shouldered, blond, careful of his appearance (judging from his black open-collared shirt); relatively desirable. I wonder why he had no girlfriend or romantic interest. Not any that I've heard of since Lucille...wasn't it lonesome?

"Aren't you tired of being lonely?"

Those words leapt unbidden onto my lips. My blond companion froze, the glass almost to his mouth when I asked. What an odd question to ask, in retrospect. My face went red, uglifying it with my clashing hair. I coughed softly, bowing my head down in embarrassment.

"You get used to it."

I wasn't expecting such an answer-or an answer at all. I looked up at the sound of his voice, and a pair of clear blue eyes looked back at me, a pair of careworn eyes that I have seen in pain before. I know that he knows that he's seen that pain too-it was in my eyes. His own beckoned to me, sending his message.

Welcome to the Heartbreak Club.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn'-"

"It's alright. I kind of half-expected it," Chuck waved it off with a grin, a grin that didn't really stretch as wide as it used to. "After all, you've had a harder time of it. You get reminded of your own heartbreak almost every day." And he gestured at the empty recliner that once held the ass of the aforementioned heartbreaker.

I laughed. "Now that I think about it, it was just wishful thinking, I guess." My cold drink sat on the coffee table, sweating a little just like me. I laced the palm of my hand around its cool glass body. "I think it could have been nice, if it had been us, you know?"

Chuck nodded. "Yeah. First love always feels the sweetest. You give your all completely to that person, too high up to think of the consequences." He turned my way, his frankness quite new to me. It was different from Dean's demeanor...it was actually refreshing. This made me a little more curious.

"But I'm sure you've been dating-keeping your options open and all that?"

"What makes you think that?" His eyebrow quirked upward.

I shrugged, answering quite honestly. "You're really handsome, and you're a great guy personality-wise. Don't you have women flocking after you already?" I smiled wryly and took a sip as I glanced at a hint of pink in Chuck's face. He shook his head, grinning, and looked at me. "Me? Nah, I've been losing myself in my work, recently...", he faltered after this, then hastily looked at the coffee table for a moment before cocking his head back at me.

"What about you? Beautiful, really sociable, caring: what's your excuse?" I felt myself glowing at his compliments-it was nice, being appreciated (if jokingly). His eyes flickered at my unbraided red hair, my green eyes, my (still growing) curves. We were so close to each other that I could smell the faintness of his aftershave.

"Yeah, well, been busy enjoying singularity! It's not all that bad, I've been so for twenty-one years as of tonight." And I didn't lie, it was fun. Traveling, making audiences go ooh and aah at all the lovely tricks I do. Just lonely sometimes. I guess I was one for companionship?

"Well, you're a stunningly eligible girl. Much prettier than a lot of girls out there."
"Well, you're a blatantly eligible guy! We have the same case, here."

Chuck was thoughtful at this, and I smiled at seeing his suddenly softened face. "Hey. What's on your mind?"

"I was just thinking something...but maybe you wouldn't want it..."
"I don't even know what you're talking about here."
"Well, if I told you, I'm not sure you'd agree with me..."

"Hey, why not take the chance?" I grinned, tipping my head to the side as I nodded. "That's what we need, right? A chance." I was pleased to see the smile on his face go from unsure to cheerful, and he looked straight into my eyes with his. He took a deep breath, and leaned towards me.

"Alright, then. How about we take a chance together?"


I blinked for a moment before understanding what he was driving at. And my eyes widened.

Me...with Chuck? The both of us? Together?
A possibility I had never considered before was wide open, now.

"...Really? I-I mean, do you mean it?" I'm pretty sure my mouth actually opened here.
"Yeah, sure...I mean, if you're okay with it...!" And Chuck laughed nervously, but freely. "I mean, it's just like what you said, right? That's all we need, just a chance." And he looked at me with those eyes of his.

Perhaps it would be wiser to process this in a state of sobriety, but I didn't care.

Now I looked straight back into his eyes, and I could see that he wanted me to think about it. We already got along well...could we possibly take a chance and fall in love? He was no Dean...but as the years went by, did I really want Dean? Or was I ready to open my heart to a love that could be mine?

I knew, too, that Chuck was processing all of this with Lucille in his mind.

Change was inevitable.

By now I was fully sober, yet my stomach was already lined with the fluttering of what may have been butterflies of growing excitement. I may have been wrong, but I thought I was getting drunk again...

"I believe," I said, after a blush and a tiny smile, "that we have a deal, Chuck." And my insides leaped higher as his gaze twinkled back. He held my hand as I stood up to call a cab for him (seeing as he could be a little too tipsy), and already I felt his grasp to be gentler, as was his face. It was the most carefree I've seen him in a while. "How about we have some dinner Friday night? Will you still be in town by then?"

"Definitely," the blond young man grinned, and winked as he opened the door. "I'll pick you up at six-thirty, then. See, you then, Becca."

Click. The door closed.

Change was in order in my life.

Inside my bedroom I wrote in my diary about all these things, dialogues and all. I will look back at this day as a risk, and it is up to me to find out if it was worth taking or not. Change, I concluded, was only going to work if I changed with it. The sweet Johnny Appleseed flavor was still on my taste buds, and that lingering aftershave began to make me think...

As I was going to sleep I did some things I never did before.
I kept my hair ribbons away in a little box that I kept at the very back of my dresser.
I put my new earrings in the box on the shelf I always see in the morning, so that I would use it always.
I laid out new clothes for the next morning...clothes that were comfier, and not so immature-looking. And perhaps, more sensibly skin-covering...

That night, I dreamed of a pair of blue eyes. They didn't burn like a fire. They weren't wild and free, enchanting. The eyes I saw were intriguing, now. They were twinkling, and I swore I saw one of them wink.

Already I felt the hollowness in my heart stop aching. It was filled with happiness.